Even after the grieving period has subsided, there are still moments when you wish you could still be with your lost loved one, when you remember that you never wanted to be without them. Thanks to memorial diamonds, now you can be with them wherever you go.
Modern technology makes it possible to turn their ashes into an actual diamond that can be set into any precious metal to create a personalized ring, pendant, earrings, and more. You can even have multiple diamonds created from the ashes so that everyone in your family has one as a treasured keepsake.
Memorial Diamonds are Real Diamonds
Though creating diamonds from human ashes has become a popular trend recently, the process of purifying carbon was first invented in 1954 by Dr. H. Tracy Hall at the General Electric Company. It was then altered to extract carbon from human ashes in the early 2000s. Today, advanced technology has made it easier than ever before to synthetically produce a diamond from the carbon found in human ashes.
Natural diamonds are made of carbon that have been placed under extreme heat and pressure for thousands of years to create a crystal. The human body is also comprised of 18% of the same carbon, which is not destroyed by the cremation process. A trace of nitrogen (3%) is also found in human ashes. Both the carbon and the nitrogen are placed under intense heat and pressure in a synthetic process that takes only months to produce a crystal that becomes a memorial diamond.
Here’s how it’s done.
How Memorial Diamonds are Made
To produce a diamond from human ashes, there are many steps that must be performed by a certified and licensed laboratory.
Step 1. The ashes are first placed in a special solvent to remove impurities and unstable chemicals. Then, it is mixed with a nano powder within a special chemical gas environment. Once the removal solvent binds with the impurities, the entire solution is placed in a centrifuge to separate them from the ashes. Special care is taken to protect any remaining carbon and the separated elements are reduced to an extreme minimum.
Step 2. From the centrifuge, the ashes are subjected to an extreme temperature to further purify them. All oxygen is removed and a special gas is injected to protect the ashes from oxidation. Some ashes may need additional attention to help separate the solid carbon from any chemicals still present. The heating process may take anywhere between 48 hours to two weeks depending on the equipment the laboratory is using.
Step 3. The ashes are placed in a wet chemical environment within a specialized cabinet to further remove any heavy metals. The cabinet is kept within strict temperature levels while stirring the mixture to continue protecting the carbon. Once this step is completed, any impurities found in the ashes are reduced to 1/500 of the original impurity content, which equates to the carbon becoming 99.99% pure. If the purity is not yet 99.99% at this point, further measures are taken.
The result of the purification process is the carbon has turned into flake graphite that is formed into a cylindrical shape. The graphite contains certain elements, including nitrogen that determines the diamond’s color. Every element is unique to your loved one’s chemical makeup, which ensures that your diamond is truly one of a kind.
Step 4. The graphite is carefully wrapped for protection before being placed in a special press along with a tiny natural diamond seed to help start the growing process. To turn ashes into diamonds, the press simulates the extreme forces that naturally occurring carbon would undergo within the earth. The carbon remains in the press for months until the crystal has grown to the desired size and the requested color has been established. In general, the slower it takes a diamond from ashes to grow, the more stable its structure will be.
The Final Steps
At the end of the required time, the rough memorial diamond is taken out of the press and ready for polishing. You can request a rough, un-cut diamond, but it is recommended that you not take your diamond to anyone who is not trained in cutting and polishing memorial diamonds.
Experts at the laboratory are highly trained and experienced in the field, and they are well acquainted with what is required to polish a memorial diamond and remove any remaining graphite or other materials still on the memorial diamond’s surface. Jewelers who are not familiar with memorial diamonds do not have the special cutting skills that are necessary to preserve your diamond and probably will break it.
After cutting and polishing, a unique loving message can be etched on your diamond by laser inscription. You might also request having your loved one’s name added. After etching, your diamond is ready to be set in a precious metal of your choosing if you so desire.
A final inspection is conducted where a grade analysis report and a certificate of authenticity are created to accompany your diamond. And the diamond is officially recognized by both the Gemological Institute of America or the International Gemological Institute. The diamond is then wrapped and prepared for shipping directly to you.
Customizing the Setting
Many laboratories offer putting your diamond in a setting of our choice, but you are welcome to have your diamond set with a jeweler in your local area if you want to customize it. If you decide you want to customize, there are still some designers who will fulfill your vision using wax moulds and carvings followed by old-fashioned casting, polishing, soldering, and welding.
However, modern technology allows jewelry designers to use special computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided modeling (CAM) programs working together to create a 3D prototype model of your vision. CAD describes the computer software programs used to create the 3D model that allows you to view the jewelry you’re trying to design from every angle before it is physically rendered in a growing machine.
CAM are the software programs and machinery that create and physically make a 3D object. The object is set into a 3D wax model to help create a prototype of what the final piece of jewelry will look like.
The artisan skills required to create such a model are highly specialized and take many years of training. By working with you and including you in the process, a CAD design can be altered at any time without wasting any resources before being digitized and sent to other jewelry technicians who take that data and create a 3D wax or resin form.
CAD design is a much faster way to create your jewelry. You will receive your jewelry in a fraction of the time of conventional methods and your cost will lower. Plus, your piece will look exactly as you want it so that your memorial diamond will be set in the most beautiful way possible.
A Uniquely Beautiful Treasure
Because of modern technology, you can now preserve the memory of your loved one in a beautiful memorial diamond of your choosing. You can even customize the design of its setting in a unique piece of jewelry if you wish. As the service is available in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, and Australia, turning your loved one’s ashes into a diamond is easier than ever before. It is a unique and lovely way to forever treasure the love you shared.