Turning Ashes Into Diamonds- How Much Should You Pay?
And over the past few years, Cremation Diamonds have become a very popular memorial option.
So what goes on when turning ashes into diamonds?
With so much interest among our readers, our memorial experts decided to take an in depth look into the industry.
So to help answer all your questions, we discuss everything from costs, the process, jewerly options, and more.
We also review some of the leading cremation diamond companies on the market.
Speak With An Expert
If you have a question or wish to get a quick quote, you can speak with one of our reputable cremation diamond experts.
You might wonder how exactly this miraculous transformation takes place.
How can human remains become a shiny diamond pendant or a pair of earrings?
As you can imagine, it’s by no means simple.
There’s a lot of care, thought and precision that goes into creating cremation diamonds.
Here’s how it all works.
Carbon Purification and Isolation
After cremation, carbon is still present in the bones and hair of your loved one.
Carbon makes up only about 0.5% to 4% of the remains, as most of it has burned off during the cremation process.
The first step in creating a diamond is to isolate the carbon. This can take many weeks. At the end of that time, you have a powdery carbon graphite substance, the starter material for diamonds.
During another lengthy process, the graphite powder is refined and filtered until it has reached 99.9% carbon.
Next, heat and pressure are applied causing the formation of a graphite structure.
We call this process “graphitization.”
In the most miraculous stage of all, machines are used to reproduce the exact conditions that exist deep beneath the earth’s surface.
Under the supervision of skilled scientists, the carbon is exposed to temperatures of around 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. Pressure is exerted of about 850,000 pounds per square inch.
Gradually, a diamond begins to grow.
It starts as some crystallization on the top of the carbon seed. Then over time this becomes a raw diamond.
The most magical thing about all this is that every person’s diamond will be unique.
Each individual requires a different mix of heat and pressure to grow a diamond, so the result is highly personalized. No two cremation diamonds are alike.
Rough Diamond Removal and Cleaning
The diamond is left inside a growing cell until it reaches the desired size. The longer you wait, the larger the diamond becomes.
Once the diamond is the right size, the cell is extracted from the environment created by the machines.
The rough diamond, encased in the middle of molten metal in the growing cell, is then cleaned in an acid bath.
Cut and Polish
At this stage, the diamond is ready to be cut.
This process is essential, because it’s the cut of a diamond that determines its quality.
You can choose from a variety of cuts, such as emerald, radiant or brilliant. You may even choose to keep the diamond in its original rough diamond form.
The diamond will then be polished until it sparkles, no matter what form it is in.
Diamonds can be left in their original color, or they can be colored. This is another opportunity to personalize the stone by choosing a color such as green, pink, red, or black.
In this process, different natural elements are combined with high energy to produce “color centers.”
The length of time required for coloration differs depending on the chosen color. For example, to create a completely opaque shade of black requires about three months.
Grading and Engraving
The diamond must be carefully inspected by an expert to ensure that it is 100% authentic. They examine cut, clarity and color to determine that is a real diamond.
Its authenticity will then be documented with a special certificate.
Finally, the diamond is laser engraved with the number of the order, as well as any requested personal message.
These engravings are only visible when using a microscope with 30 times magnification.
So no need to worry that they will diminish the unique and classy sparkle of your beautiful diamond.
Natural diamonds vs Human diamonds: What’s the difference?
Cremation diamonds are created in a lab. They are aesthetically very close to natural diamonds, with the same brilliance and shine.
While natural diamonds must be mined from deep under the earth, the creation of cremation diamonds pose no harm to our environment.
So Are Cremation Diamonds Real?
You may be asking: this sounds amazing, but how do I know that they’re real diamonds?
As much as you might love the idea of wearing your loved one’s remains as a beautiful diamond, it’s nice to know if they are actually real.
But there is a way to tell.
Your cremation diamonds will come with a certificate of authenticity to verify that it is a real diamond.
The entire process of transforming your loved one’s remains is carefully documented with a tracking log.
Various scientific reports are used to compare the trace elements and carbon isotopes, validating the authenticity of the diamond.
They also ensure that these elements match up with the ashes of an individual.
So you can rest assured that, although created in an artificial environment, your diamonds are a real and authentic representation of your loved one.
Cremation has increased at an astounding rate over the past decades.
With the discovery of producing these breathtaking diamonds, cremation jewelry has reached a whole new level. Cremation diamonds are now growing in popularity at a rapid pace.
You choose the diamond you prefer by what the diamond industry refers to as the four Cs. That stands for color, cut, clarity, and carats. Below is an explanation of each one.
Man has determined how to copy the same natural diamond process using the boron in ashes and the hair. That along with other methods make the different hues.
There can be many different colors including brown, red, pink, gray, blue, green, violet, purple, yellow, orange, and of course clear.
Choosing a color
It is difficult to determine the exact color that your diamond will turn out.
Although you will choose the color family, cremation diamonds are made with the ashes of distinct individuals.
Each one will be unique to any other.
Cut: Designs available
When choosing your diamond, you will also select the cut that you prefer.
Immediately after a diamond is grown, it’s not yet shiny and sparkling as we see it. It must be cut and polished to achieve that appearance.
The person who cuts the diamond has to be very precise in order to attain the ultimate brilliance.
There are a wide variety of shapes from which you can choose. Some examples would be princess, brilliant, or radiant cut.
The size is measured by weight, which is more commonly referred to as the carats.
Large diamonds of multiple carats are rare. Therefore, the higher the carat, the more expensive the diamond. The color and clarity determines the value as well.
The size of a cremation diamond is determined by the length of time it is processed.
Again depending on the place you have it created, they can range from 0.03 carats up to 2.00 carats.
Like natural ones, cremation diamonds have flaws.
The clarity is determined by the amount of flaws or inclusions that are visible. This is established by examining the stone with a 10 times magnification.
You’ve probably seen a jeweler look at a diamond with a magnifying instrument they put up to their eye. They are looking for flaws.
The cost of a cremation diamond can be anywhere from $750 all the way to upwards of $20k.
Why the huge difference you might ask? There’s a number of factors that will influence price:
- The size of the diamond (Carat Size)
- The color of the diamond
- The cut of the diamond
- The diamond’s clarity
- The level of customer service provided by the cremation diamond company
If you’re ordering more than one diamond, most companies offer a discount or package on multiple cremation diamonds.
What does this price include?
These prices are for the cremation diamond only. They do not include the setting.
Cremation diamond jewelry can be an expensive memorial, but many places offer payment arrangements.
Here are some other questions you might have about the process of turning your loved one’s remains into diamonds.
How long does it take to a cremation diamond to form?
Although the many stages can take several months to complete, that’s just a minute compared to the millions of years it takes the organic way.
This is just a rough time estimate, in fact most of the companies say that the typical process is around 6 to 10 months. The time taken depends on both size and color of the diamond chosen.
How much ashes do you need to create a diamond?
Cremation diamonds can be created from 200 grams (8 ounces) of ashes or about 10 grams (0.4 ounces) of human hair.
Can you make diamonds from hair?
Hair is mostly composed of keratin, a protein which is bonded to a number of different elements.
Keratin is 50% carbon, which means it is completely possible to turn it into diamonds.
Like diamonds made from cremation ashes, they are considered synthetic or lab-grown diamonds. But they are still certified as authentic diamonds.
The process is similar to the one described for cremation ashes. First, the hair is exposed to high heat in order to isolate the carbon.
After a period of exposure to high heat and high pressure, the diamond seed begins to form on the hair.
Finally, the diamond will be cut and polished to its own unique brilliance.
How to Order a Cremation Diamond?
Any reputable cremation diamond company will give you a clear step-by-step process for ordering your diamond.
After contacting them, you will usually receive a welcome kit. This includes clear instructions, return postage and tools to safely send in your order.
Be sure to follow all directions carefully.
The creators of cremation diamonds did not forget about our precious pets. Their ashes and hair are grown into beautiful diamonds as well.
The process and options are basically the same as for humans.
You will choose the four Cs just as with a human cremation diamond.
Jewelry such as rings, pendants, earrings, and you may consider having their name engraved into the setting.
Any type of jewelry can be made for cremation diamonds. You will either choose from the establishment that created the diamond or from a separate jeweler.
You will select the metal you desire such as gold, sterling silver, platinum, and also the style such as modern or vintage.
The most popular choices are pendants, rings, and earrings. Below, we’ll look at each one.
A pendant setting is very popular and typically worn on a chain. This allows you to keep a part of your loved one close to your heart.
The possibilities for pendant designs are unlimited. Some people choose one that can also hold a small amount of the ashes.
You will also choose the design, such as a simple setting with a solitary diamond or a more extravagant option for multiple stones.
The setting can be purchased ready made or it can be custom made.
Cremation rings are probably the most popular. The choice of ring settings are unlimited as well. The selections such as silver, gold, and extravagance are the same as with pendants.
Many people choose a small ring that can be worn at all times. You will see it throughout the day and have fond memories about the one you lost.
On your ears is another place where others will be dazzled when they look at you.
As you move and walk, the shine and sparkle of these beautiful diamonds will be noticed by all. You may prefer a solitaire setting or even dangle style earrings.
Cremation Diamond Companies
The very first time cremation diamonds were offered on the market was back in 2001.
Since that time, a number of other companies have gotten in on this innovative method of remembrance.
Of course, the market is still somewhat limited due to the immense capital that a business must invest in order to offer the service.
The necessary equipment and machinery for this process cost around 1 million dollars.
Still, there are a few companies out there that can meet your needs.
Here’s how they stack up.
Best known for their famous appearance on the TV show Shark Tank, this Texas company is a fairly recent addition to the field.
It was founded in 2017 after the co-founder lost her mother to cancer and wanted a more meaningful way to remember her.
For this reason, this company has a unique personal element, sharing pictures and videos with you throughout the process.
A photo of your loved one is hung on the wall while your diamond is being completed, and his/her story may also be shared on social media with your permission.
It is one of the only places where you can request a custom memorial setting for your diamond.
If you want to know more about Eterneva, take a look at our recent review of the company.
A pioneer in the field, LifeGem was the first company of its kind, offering its first cremation diamonds back in 2001.
Their appearance on The Today Show back in 2002 marked the first time the public found out about the possibility of transforming a loved one’s remains into diamonds.
With this solid history, LifeGem stands by their products, giving you updates on the process of your loved one’s transformation.
LifeGem also holds the distinction of being one of the only cremation diamond companies in the US.
Besides producing cremation diamonds for people, LifeGem prides itself on producing beautiful diamonds out of the cremains of beloved pets.
Want some more information about LifeGem? Our memorial experts made a detailed LifeGem review which talks about their company, process, products, costs, and more.
Heart In Diamond
This company is based in the UK, but serves clients all over the world.
They stand apart for their personal approach, even willing to come directly to your home to take your order.
They stay in touch with you during the process, and hand deliver your cremation diamond to you when it’s ready.
For my information this company, check out our latest Heart In Diamond Review.
A US company based in Atlanta, Saint Diamonds have built a solid reputation based on respectful customer service, high quality standards, and competitive prices.
They use a sophisticated high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) process to turn your loved one’s ashes into diamonds.
They offer a wide range of diamond colors including yellow, green, black, red, blue and colorless. They also offer an extremely fast completion time (From 1-3 months) depending on the color of the diamond.
For more information about this recommended cremation diamond company, visit their website.
EverDear stands out for its affordability and efficiency, producing beautiful cremation diamonds on an average of about 11 months.
You can begin the process after making a relatively modest 50% deposit. The remainder is paid upon completion of your diamond.
Based in Switzerland, Algordanza has the honor of being the only ISO certified maker of cremation diamonds.
Holding itself to high standards of Swiss craftsmanship, they give notarized certification to each individual step of the process.
Another Swiss company, the engineers at Lonite have been discussing the best method of creating cremation diamonds since the 1950s.
A precise and infallible tracking system gives you security that your loved one’s ashes are in good hands.
What else to do with ashes?
If you’re curious about other ideas for ashes, you’ll be pleased to know our experts have created a number of guides.
- Interment of ashes: A method preferred by Catholics when cremating, interment means burying the remains.
- Scattering Ashes: A very popular option, our scattering guide goes through everything you need to know about the topic. We have also created a scattering ashes at sea guide, should you be interested in this ceremony.
- Cremation Art: You can use your loved one’s ashes to make a stunning piece of art. Our cremation art guide goes through all the different creative ideas to choose from.
Are Cremation Diamonds right for you?
Cremation diamonds are definitely one of the more profound and personal items you can select as an end of life memorial.
Each time you look at your diamond, you will be reminded of the one you lost. Keeping a part of them next to you could even aid in the grieving process.
What diamond will you choose? For those who have purchased one, tell us about your experience.