A diamond from the ashes of a dead person. What sounds bizarre at first, is actually possible. In a diamond burial, parts of the cremated remains of a dead person are pressed into a synthetic diamond, offering the family of the deceased a both visual and tangible memory. The burial requires a special type of cremation, in which only part of the ash is needed – the so-called amorphous carbon. In order to obtain this carbon, cremation must take place at a temperature of 800 to 950 degrees Celsius. The ashes from a regular cremation, which uses temperatures above 1,200 degrees Celsius, cannot be used to press a diamond. In the diamond burial process, the amorphous carbon is first separated from the remaining ash. The latter is then usually buried in an urn grave.
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The amorphous carbon is then turned into a diamond under extreme pressure over a period of four to eight weeks. By converting the carbon into diamond crystals, a rough diamond is grown, which can then be cut into the typical diamond shape according to the customer’s wishes. Special shape requests such as a brilliant, a heart or an oval design are also possible.
In order to create a diamond, about 500 grams of ash are needed. A sapphire or ruby can even be made from approximately 100 grams of amorphous carbon, and the addition of oxides such as iron or chromium also allows the diamond to be colored.
It is even possible to press several diamonds from the ashes of a dead person. The only requirement is a sufficient amount of amorphous carbon. So if more than one survivor wants to remember the deceased through a stone, then “family diamonds” are the way to share this special form of remembrance.
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A piece of jewelry made from the diamond offers the possibility to wear the memory of the deceased as an earring or chain pendant and thereby remember the person in a special way. After completion, the mourners receive a certificate of authenticity in addition to the valuable memento.
Legal Situation for Memorial Diamonds
In some countries, however, a diamond burial is not permitted due to the burial and cemetery requirement. Some regulation states that deceased persons must be buried in official graves. In Switzerland or the Netherlands, however, you will find according European providers. There, a diamond can legally be made from the ashes of deceased persons.
Alternatively, a commemorative diamond can
be made from creatine, a component of human hair. This diamond can also be
produced from the hair of a living person. For this, only approximately 10
grams of hair are charred for the production of amorphous carbon, from which
the desired diamond is then grown. The production of these diamonds is legal in
Germany, as well.