Swiss Company Turns Human Ashes Into Diamonds

diamonds

Swiss company Algordanza is among the biggest enterprises that turns human ashes into diamonds through a method identical to the one that makes synthetic gems. These jewels are essentially pressurized carbon atoms exposed to high temperatures, and since the human body is about 18 percent carbon, it is possible to turn a loved one’s remains into a precious gem. For a starting price of $5,000, Algordanza will forge a memorial diamond from the ashes of somebody who passed away. The company’s only request is to obtain at least 500 grams of ashes in order to create a diamond.

It is commonly known that these precious gems last a lifetime and Swiss company Algordanza makes a living out of turning human ashes into memorial diamonds. According to the enterprise’s CEO, Rinaldo Willy, the remains of 850 loved ones enter the company each year and emerge a precious gemstone. The method used by Willy, namely developing a technology capable of artificially imitating the natural process using the granular remainings of the deceased has also been used since the 1990s to create synthetic diamonds. Moreover, Gary Roskin, editor of Gem News Magazine agreed that gems created from the remains of humans have the same quality as the synthetic jewel.

The Swiss company which turns human ashes into diamonds heats and transforms the usable carbon elements into graphite, which is commonly used in pencils; the graphite is placed in a machine which mimics a natural environment that applies both pressure and high temperature and, in a matter of weeks or months, a diamond is created.

Willy stated that the diamonds are usually four carats when they are in rough form and one carat after they have been cut, but dimensions depend on how long the graphite is kept in the machine. However, the quality of the ashes is another factor that influences the result.

Willy told Motherboard that the quality of a person’s ashes also influences the diamond and, for example, people who used to wear a prosthesis, dentures or took medicines will produce diamonds of inferior quality. The color of the stone is also strongly affected if people were treated with chemotherapy, thus making the diamond lighter. Although the gems are usually blue because of the boron traces in the human body, every person changes into a unique diamond that ranges from crystal-clear to almost black.

Willy added that, “if the diamond is blue, and the deceased also had blue eyes,” the family of the dead stated that, “the diamond had the same color as the eyes of the deceased.”

Diamonds created by Swiss company Algordanza are less valuable than natural gems, but people cannot tell the difference between man-made and naturally created gemstones.

“There’s no apparent difference,” Willy said. “It would most likely look like a natural blue diamond, which costs in the neighbourhood of $40,000.”

The CEO also mentioned that some clients, especially those from Japan, demand one diamond for each family member, which means that one body can produce more diamonds. Willy stated that Algordanza’s record is nine gems out of one person. The Swiss company is, along with LifeGem, one of the biggest enterprises which turns human ashes into memorial diamonds that can be either kept in a “noble wooden box” or mounted on a ring or pendant.

By Gabriela Motroc

Sources

Motherboard

Smithsonian

Cir.ca

NPR

Business Insider

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