Swiss company Algordanza has come up with an unconventional and intriguing way to memorialize our loved ones forever. At Algordanza, extreme heat and pressure are used to turn cremated human remains into “memorial diamonds” that can be kept as single gems or worn as unique jewelry. The service, which costs 4,500 to 20,000 Swiss Francs ($5,000 to $20,000) per diamond, depending on the size, provides a fascinating alternative to traditional burial and cremation methods.
The process is essentially the same as creating any synthetic diamond. Carbon extracted from the departed's remains is heated to high temperatures and turned into graphite. The graphite is then subjected to temperatures as high as 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and a force of over 870,000 pounds per square inch. The finished diamond, after being cut down to around 1 carat, is presented in a box or set as jewelry. The color of the diamond, which is unique to each person, can range from crystal-clear to almost black, although the most common hue is blue due to the traces of boron in the human body.
Rinaldo Willy, the founder of Algordanza, calls the memorial diamonds indestructible tools of remembrance, although it's ultimately up to the deceased's loved ones to keep their memory alive. He told Vice, “I loved the idea of dead people becoming something you can touch and enjoy the sight of. I also like the fact that a diamond remains, can be kept and passed down from generation to generation. It's not something that you just scatter away at some point, like sometimes happens with ashes from cremation.”