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The knowledge of how to isolate carbon from human remains has existed since the 1960s. But it was not until 2003 that the cremation diamond industry emerged.
Algordanza responded to the need by developing powerful synthesis equipment dedicated to the creation of memorial diamonds.
These machines can generate the crushing pressure and 1400 °C temperatures that mimic natural conditions of diamond growth.
Algordanza’s location in Switzerland is another huge advantage, giving easy proximity to the Soviet labs in which the technology was originally developed. They have also collaborated with research universities all over Europe to bring this technology to maturity.
Creating a Cremation Diamond
The process of creating a cremation diamond is as unique and special as the individual being remembered.
So as you might expect, this process has a number of steps. It’s by no means simple.
After all, your loved one deserves the most thoughtful remembrance of which technology is capable.
Here, we’ve laid out each intricate, loving step of that process.
Step 1: Choosing a carbon source
It’s the carbon within your loved one’s remains which makes it possible to grow a diamond.
But where exactly does that carbon come from? And how much do you need?
Here are some of the sources from which to choose.
With just 500 grams of cremated remains, you can create a diamond entirely from the ashes of your loved one.
The result is one or more diamonds made purely out of the carbon from the cremains. No other source is used.
Carbon can be isolated from the hair of your loved one to create a beautiful diamond that lasts forever.
For this process, you will need to provide at least five grams of hair.
The advantage to this method? You can still memorialize your loved one with a diamond even if you are personally or religiously opposed to cremation.
This makes it a wonderfully unique option.
What if you don’t have enough hair or cremains to make a cremation diamond?
Not to worry. That problem can be solved!
Algordanza Origin allows you to add a second carbon source, in addition to hair or ashes.
This can take the form of prized belongings, like letters, diaries or pictures.
Step Two: Choosing a Diamond Cut
The cut of your diamond is just one of the many ways in which you can give it a personal flair.
The options are:
You can also opt to simply have the rough diamond, exactly the way it was formed, with no alterations.
Whatever you choose, your diamond will be carefully and expertly cut by seasoned professionals in the field.
Step Three: Choose a Diamond Size
Algordanza offers a great variety of options for your diamond size.
You can choose a single diamond, or grow your loved one’s remains into four smaller family diamonds.
Single diamonds come in a selection of eight sizes. These range from a tiny 0.3 carat diamond measuring 4.3 millimeters, all the way up to a 1-carat diamond of a luxurious 6.4 millimeter size.
For family diamonds, you have two size options from which to choose.
You can opt for four diamonds, which are 0.15 carat each.
Or you can get three 0.2 carat diamonds.
The Ashes to Diamonds Process
The process of transforming cremation ashes into diamonds is fascinating.
You will be amazed at what happens as your loved one’s ashes become a beautiful and treasured memento.
Cremation typically produces two or three kilograms of ash.
Although the human body consists of about 25% carbon, much of this escapes as carbon dioxide during cremation.
A small amount of carbon still remains in the ashes, usually comprising 0.5 to 2.5% of the total weight of the cremains.
At the beginning of the process, Algordanza requests about 500 grams of cremains to verify that they can isolate enough carbon to create at least one diamond.
With hair, the process is similar. Hair is made up of about 50% carbon. At least 5 grams are needed to create a diamond. If there isn’t enough hair, carbon can be extracted from beloved possessions.
The chemical process to turn ashes into diamonds takes place in several stages.
To begin with, any oxidic or metallic components of the ashes have to be wet removed.
Next, filtration leaves behind an isolated high-carbon residue which cannot be dissolved.
Although it weighs just a few grams, this amorphous carbon residue packs between 50% and 90% carbon.
Next, the carbon is subjected to temperatures ranging from 2,500 to 2,700°C. This vaporizes metallic impurities and removes carbon dioxide, increasing the carbon’s purity.
At this point, the amorphic residue takes on a definite graphite structure. With about 99% purity, the atoms within the graphite are now in perfect formation for diamond synthesis.
The growing cell
The growing cell at Algordanza is a model of Swiss technology and precision. It has 25 meticulous and carefully controlled components, each of which are necessary for the formation of a perfect diamond.
Here, the natural conditions of diamond growth are replicated in perfect detail. The memorial diamonds are left to grow undisturbed in this environment.
The growing cell is placed inside an HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) press which weighs about 14 tons. Inner temperatures of around 1,400°C combined with pressure of about 60,000 bar produce the perfect conditions for diamond growth.
The time spent in the HPHT determines the size of the diamond. More time is needed for larger diamonds; less time for smaller ones. The amount of time is determined by the size of the diamond that is requested.
When the appropriate amount of time has elapsed, the growing cell is removed from the press and slowly opened, one layer at a time. Each component is carefully collected and refined.
The rough diamond
Deep within the cell, the rough diamond is located, identified through its distinct crystal faces. It is removed from the molten metal that surrounds it and then cleansed in an acid bath.
Cut and polish
Next, the diamond is cut according to the family’s request. If they have requested a rough diamond, it is polished and handed over as it is.
The process of cutting a diamond by hand is a precise and delicate art. This step is only undertaken by experienced experts.
The Ordering Process
Once you’ve chosen your personalized memorial diamond, you’re ready to order!
Again, every step of this process shows the company’s thought and care in your time of loss.
Step 1: Find an Algordanza partner
Algordanza has international representatives in a variety of countries.
Simply select your country from the drop-down menu to find a representative near you to assist with your order.
If there is no representative in your area, you can work directly with the administrative team in Switzerland to place and process your order.
Step 2: Shipping of remains
After the funeral or memorial service, your Algordanza representative or your funeral home will arrange to have the cremains or hair shipped to Switzerland.
After your creation diamond is ready, they will then arrange to have it imported and handed over to you personally.
While the price of a memorial diamond might seem prohibitive at first glance, it’s actually no more than the cost of a traditional burial, and could even be less.
It can either supplement or replace a traditional burial.
Prices start as low as 3,500 Swiss francs for a 0.3-carat, rough uncut diamond.
The price varies depending on the services you require.
More details about pricing are available by contacting an Algordanza representative or institute.
Guarantee and Certification
Algordanza carefully documents its rigorous quality control. They will issue a certificate verifying your diamond’s authenticity, as well as the cut, color, and weight.
Your certificate also guarantees that the diamond was made from your loved one’s cremated remains.
Algordanza has a very precise tracking system. Each order gets its own unique reference number, and you will be updated throughout the process. You will be notified at each stage of completion.
What Customers Are Saying
Algordanza has a very high rating from its customers, averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars among reviewers.
Customers describe the company as “extremely professional and respectful throughout the entire process.”
They have also been called an “exceptional company with a great product and service to uniquely remember your loved one.”
Is Algordanza Right For You?
The choice of how best to memorialize a lost loved one is deeply personal. It can also be prohibitively expensive.
The advantage to choosing memorial diamonds is that they can go with you everywhere you go.
You will be reminded of your loved one’s closeness every time you look down at your fingers or wrist, or when you feel that diamond pendant resting close to your heart.
You also have the assurance that you are working with industry experts and state-of-the-art-technology to create something beautiful out of your loved one’s remains.
And when all’s said and done, you could end up paying a lot more for other end-of-life expenses, such as a casket and/or a burial plot.
This is a classy and personalized alternative.
So if you want a unique way to keep your loved one’s memory alive, Algordanza could be a great option for you.