Algordanza has been in the business of turning ashes and hair into diamond jewelry to help you remember your loved ones in the best possible way.
Earlier this month, we reported a story about Artful Ashes - a Seattle-based company - specializing in creating unbelievably creative cremation jewelry out of your loved ones' ashes. What we hadn't realized back then was there is a nearly a billion-dollar industry in the memorial space working to create original and valuable keepsakes to remember your loved ones by. Today, we have the story of Algordanza, a Swiss company that turns your loved ones' ashes into diamond jewelry.
How did this impressive idea come about though? Well, there's a story behind it that requires you to know how diamonds are formed. Ask a chemistry major and they'll you that diamond, the precious metal as we know it, is nothing but pressurized carbon atoms that are baked in intense heat and pressure beneath the earth's mantle. Rinaldo Willy, the founder of Algordanza, was inspired by the idea and so he set out to replicate the exact same process, only using artificial means. In 2003, he bandied a team together to research the idea and found that the human body is made up of 20%-25% of carbon or carbon-related supplements. Followed by this revelation, Willy and his team went on to create a process to first isolate carbon from human cremation ashes and then went on to build a series of High Pressure - High-Temperature machines which helped mimic the heat and pressure ideally seen in earth's mantle.
The process of turning ashes into diamond jewelry requires either 500 grass of cremation ash or 5 grams of hair. Explaining the process, Algordanza writes: “The carbon solely from the remains of your loved one converts under high pressure and high temperature to graphite. The purified graphite is the foundation for the subsequent diamond transformation inside our own HPHT (High Pressure – High Temperature) machines. A diamond starter crystal within the growth cell triggers the growth of the Memorial Diamond. It is melted into a metal alloy and does not conjoin with the carbon isolated from the cremation ashes. More diamond crystals slowly crystalize on the surface of the starter crystal. The growth process takes weeks – depending on the desired size of the Memorial Diamond", the Swiss company continued. "The starter crystal is then removed from the surface of the rough diamond.”
You must be wondering, "wait, doesn't this sound a little too bourgeois and expensive?" While it is true that diamond is considerably expensive, the cost of traditional burial including a casket, real estate, and service could all easily outweigh the actual cost of a memorial diamond. "The memorial or burial diamond, in contrast to a traditional burial, is your very own personal remembrance that you can carry with you in celebration of the life of your loved one. This precious remembrance can be placed in a beautiful transparent diamond display or set in a memorial keepsake such as a ring, a pendant or other piece of jewelry or memento. Ask your jeweller for advice in creating a memorial keepsake," the jewelry maker explains.
Do you also plan to have one such a remembrance in the future, perhaps? You can take a look at Alogordanza's offering here.