Losing a loved-one is heartbreaking enough, whether they were a relative, a lover, partner, best friend or pet. Scattering their ashes is too much of a final closure, they may have spent many years with you on this earth and you may feel you never wish to ever forget them.
What better more fitting way could you remember them forever than with a real memorial diamond made from the last remnants of their existence – diamonds are forever they say.
Turning ashes into diamonds was invented by LifeGem diamonds in 1999 and brought to the public in 2002. Since then, creating diamonds from ashes has become an accepted practice worldwide and considered by many to be the most prestigious way of memorializing a loved one to date.
Eva Wu has kept her son's room unchanged ever since he died in January of 2011. Cornald passed away from a rare form of cancer, known as PEComa, at age 17. Divorced and single, Wu recalled his optimism even in his final days.
To keep him close in death as he was in life, Wu had his ashes made into a diamond. "I feel peace. I feel he's near me. And it's 100% him. Nothing else but him," said Wu, who keeps the diamond on a cross necklace. "And I can recall his smiling face, and I can recall his gentle character."
That peace is thanks to the Hong Kong company Algordanza. Algordanza sends 200 grams of cremated remains to its laboratory in Switzerland. The carbon from those ashes is then filtered out to more than 99% purity and refined into silky, black graphite. A machine then applies volcano-like pressure and temperature: Nine hours later, a synthetic diamond -- which has a bluish rather than clear tint, owing to boron found naturally in the body -- is born.A quarter-carat diamond retails for about $3000. A two-carat diamond, the biggest that Algordanza makes, costs about $37,000.
This price range makes remembrance diamonds competitive with the cost of Hong Kong burials, which range from $2,000 to more than $200,000 depending on the choice of coffin, according to the city's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
Father of the head director of Algordanza died a few weeks ago due to complications from liver cancer. His remains will be made into a diamond and split among his four children who live around the world.
Wu admits a remembrance diamond may not be the way everyone may want to commemorate their loved ones. But aside from the love held for the departed, a diamond can last nearly as long, she adds.