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Diamonds Created from Human Ashes

Memorial Diamonds Can be Made from Human Ashes


Star ring set with a lifegem diamond
Chris Parry/Flickr
Synthetic diamonds aren't new. Gem quality diamonds have been made in labs for some time and are showing up in many jewelry company catalogs. But since 2001, LifeGem (TM), an Illinois company, has offered a unique twist on synthetic diamond creation -- it makes memorial diamonds from carbon that's captured during the cremation of human remains, and more recently from locks of hair.

Memorial diamonds won't appeal to everyone, and the pricing for such unique gemstones could be a downside for many, but the company has found that an increasing number of people are opting in to the program. The diamonds give family members a lasting memento, one that's beautiful and can be worn continuously.

Getting the Carbon from Human Ashes

LifeGem recommends you use one of their certified cremation facilities for best results, but the company says it can nearly always retrieve enough carbon to make diamonds from previously cremated individuals, even if the cremation occurred years ago.

Dozens of stones can be made from the ashes of one person. The size selection is currently 0.25 to over 1.5 carats, up from a maximum of 1.3 carats when this article was originally written in 2004. Diamond prices have decreased since the company was formed, so check LifeGem's Web site for current details.

The LifeGem process gathers only the carbon produced during cremation. The family will still receive ashes of each individual.

Memorial Diamonds from Hair

Memorial diamonds can also be created from a lock of hair, and that choice is one that we could make before death, resulting in a gift that would be more acceptable to family members who might resist wearing a diamond made from ashes.


LifeGem has an open door policy, allowing you to inspect many aspects of their tracking system. The system follows all remains throughout the entire process, from cremation to faceting. They also offer an advanced type of system that uses special markers to track remains.

Diamonds From Pets?

Yes, the company can produce diamonds from your pet's remains.

Diamond Quality

LifeGem says that its overall quality target is to produce gems at the VVS clarity level (very, very slightly included; very, very slightly imperfect). Ask about current abilities, because the process appears to be improving as the years go by..

Wearing diamonds from ashes is not something that everyone feels comfortable with, but LifeGem has indeed developed a unique memorial option, and at least one other company is creating similar diamonds outside the United States.

Would you wear a diamond created from human ashes? Take the poll.

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