Many of you know that I refer to my beloved husband as Mr. Diamond due to his past couple years of constant travel. We have enjoyed the benefits that come with being a Delta Diamond member and I have reaped the benefits of that status many times. We are grateful for the special attention that frequent fliers get and think it is well deserved for those business travelers who spend a lot of time in the air and in airports.
With that being said I might have found a way to preserve Mr. Diamond’s status even if he does not remain the frequent flier that he has been the past few years. How, you may ask? Let me tell you.
A recent NPR piece entitled “From Ashes to Ashes To Diamonds: A Way to Treasure the Dead” written by Rae Ellen Bichell made its way to me via none other than Mr. Diamond himself. According to this report a Swiss company named Algordanza takes cremated human remains and through a complex process of high heat and pressure transforms those remains into diamonds. YES! The idea came from Rinaldo Willy, the company’s founder and CEO about 10 years ago.
Just how many folks have taken advantage of Mr. Willy’s technology? Each year 800-900 “remains” enter the facility and exit as diamonds about 3 months later for the cost of between $5,000 and $22,000 . It only takes a single pound of ashes to make a single diamond and he has been able to create as many as 9 diamonds out of one person’s ashes. It boggles my mind.
What do the stones look like? According to Mr. Willy most of the stones come out blue because the human body contains small amounts of boron and lends itself to a blue color. Sometimes a diamond will come out white, yellow or even close to black because as he says “every diamond from each person is slightly different. It’s always a unique diamond.”
You may wonder who would want to become a diamond after death. According to Mr. Willy 25% of his customers are from Japan. Many requests come from relatives of the deceased but often the requests are from the people themselves who wish to become a diamond after death.
A nice touch—Mr. Willy personally delivers the diamonds to his Swiss customers. There are other companies that are offering or plan to offer the same service. LifeGem in the USA offers the following:
• A certified, high-quality diamond created from a lock of hair or the cremated ashes of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life.
Over 5,000…The number of people who have their very own LifeGem diamond to date.
• A way to embrace your loved one’s memory day by day.
• The most beautiful cremation jewelry keepsake available for honoring their unique life.
• Comfort and support when and where you need it.
It all leaves a question in my mind. Do I want Mr. Diamond to live on forever when that day (far off in the future, hopefully) comes? Do the size of diamonds vary with the individual? Would I want jewelry made of “dear old Dad” to pass on to our two sons? Would he turn out blue? Or would he be the exception and be a dazzling white stone? In my mind he would be.
What do you think? Would you ever consider this as an option to the traditional funeral and burial?