When it comes to choosing a burial method, gone are the days of only having a choice between two options - a cemetery burial or a cremation. In Australia, traditional methods are now available alongside a range of new alternatives that address space and environmental concerns, as well as the needs of those seeking a meaningful long-lasting memorial. Biodegradable urns, for instance, make it possible to turn the remains of a loved one into a tree, while memorial diamonds are ashes transformed into a unique precious stone.
Ashes to Diamonds: How specialists can turn ashes into a stunning diamond
The only difference between a natural diamond and a cremation diamond is the process by which each is created. Under a microscope, they look exactly the same but natural diamonds are the result of an underground mineral process whereas memorial diamonds are made from human remains. Like the natural variety, each memorial diamond is completely unique, deriving its singularity from the distinctive composition of the ashes or the hair from which it is made.
Also known as memorial diamonds, they are grown in a laboratory where a process, designed to mimic the production of natural diamonds, extracts the carbon from the ashes and hair, and using intense heat, turns it into a dense crystal. The growth process of ashes to diamonds can last anything from a few months to a year, though the average length of time is six months.
First, the remains must be analyzed to confirm the purity of its carbon and this can take up to two weeks. The rest of the process will depend on the size of the diamond which are generally available from 0.25 Carat to 1 Carat. It will also depend on the cut and the color you have selected.
Ashes into diamonds companies such as the Swiss Zürich based Lonité ensure that the resulting gem is graded by a gemological laboratory like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which provides confirmation of the stone's validity and characteristics. The color of diamonds from ashes is unpredictable and can be brown, yellow or pink, unless other elements are introduced during the process. On request, when turning ashes into diamonds, colors like blue, red, and completely colorless can also be created.
Cremation Diamonds vs Cemetery Burials: What about the environment?
Those who opt to have a loved one memorialized as a diamond, often do so to keep them close. The diamond can be set in a ring or necklace, and worn by mourners, shared by family members, and passed down through generations of a family. Terminally-ill patients have been known to choose memorial diamonds to declare their indestructibility, while other people aware of the ecological impact of cemetery burials prefer something more environmentally-friendly. Though the body still needs to be cremated for making ashes into diamonds, cremation diamonds ensure fewer harmful effects on the environment. On the long term, cemetery burial, because of the embalming process and the fluids that get out of the body during the preparation, but mostly because of the burial space maintenance, is said to release 10% more of CO² than a cremation.
Turning ashes into diamonds in Australia: A great alternative for our furry loved ones
Not just for humans, pet ashes can also be turned into diamonds. In Australia, pet ashes to diamonds is becoming an increasingly popular way to preserve the memory of a beloved pet and continue to share them with others. The process isn't specific to mainstream pets like cats and dogs either. Horses, rabbits and even rodents can be made into cremation diamonds. To do so, 200 grams of ashes or 10 grams of the pet's fur is needed for the process.
Memorial Diamonds: A More Affordable Burial Alternative
In Australia, cremation diamonds are considered a cost-effective alternative to traditional burial. Ashes to diamonds' costs often start at AU$2,900 and can go up to AU$25,800. Costs do vary depending on the color, cut, and size of the stone. It takes the longest to create a diamond from ashes that is completely colorless, as it requires more efforts and more technical processes. Therefore, it is also the most expensive stone to make.
In 2017, cemetery burial costs have skyrocketed around the world. In Australia, the average funeral cost is of AU$7,075 and can go up to AU$15,000 for the most elaborate funerals. (Source – finder.com.au) The cost of the funeral will also depend of its location which varies from cities to cities. Additionally to the funeral costs, we can also count the price of the burial space which has also significantly risen this year.
These last couple of years, turning ashes into diamond has become a new way of celebrating our departed loved ones. Others Asia Pacific countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore or Japan have also picked up on this new alternative, which has enabled them to honor the memory of their loved ones and take funeral habits to a whole new level.