Grand romantic dedications to departed loved ones might seem the stuff of movies. Works of art and literary prose are not typically a part of funeral arrangements. The subject of death makes most of us uncomfortable, and we would rather stick to interring our loved ones’ remains in the ground and ordering flowers than get too far out of the box.
One company aims to change that EverDear & Co.
, based in the US, specializes in the creation of something called “cremation diamonds”. Real diamonds, with a twist: these are created in a lab from human ashes. While the idea may initially throw off some funeral traditionalists, many people are drawn to the romantic aspect of a beautiful, tangible remembrance that will last forever.
Most diamond mines are excavating gemstones that approach a billion years old. Diamonds are formed when clumps of minerals containing the mineral carbon, about a hundred miles under the Earth’s crust, are compressed and superheated. Underground volcanic explosions bring diamond deposits nearer the surface, eventually cooling and forming igneous rocks that can be extracted.
Diamonds are essentially carbon atoms, heated and compressed until they form a lustrous crystalline matrix. The hardest known naturally-occurring substance on earth, diamonds have been used since antiquity for engraving and decoration. They make the perfect stone for placement in jewelry—radiantly faceted, and extremely resistant to scratches and wear.
What is a cremation diamond?
In recent years, scientists have perfected the laboratory conditions necessary to artificially create diamonds
. These distinctive stones are identical to their natural cousins—perhaps even more perfect—and require only a few weeks to create. (Mined diamonds do not necessarily take much longer than that to form, but they remain trapped underground for millions of years.)
The cremation diamonds created by EverDear & Co. start with the cremation ashes of the deceased. Carbon is meticulously extracted from hair and ashes—whatever is left after the cremation process. The carbon is reduced to its purest form, then submitted to high heat and intense pressure in a specially-designed chamber. The HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature)
press takes a couple of weeks to complete the task of turning carbon from ashes to diamonds.
Because of the controlled laboratory conditions, the cremation diamonds themselves are considered more perfect than natural diamonds. EverDear & Co. scores its diamonds on the internationally-recognized grading scale of the “4 Cs”—Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat
. The diamonds come in a variety of sizes, depending on client preference. They are naturally slightly tinted, and although EverDear & Co. can alter the final color to Blue, Yellow/Gold, or Colorless, the final intensity of the diamond’s color will depend on the chemical structure of the individual’s ashes.
Making Memories Last Forever
The company offers the diamonds with a Certificate of Authenticity, and the option to have the stone certified with an independent Gemological Institute. Most EverDear & Co.’s cremation diamonds are ranked “VS” or “VVS”, meaning the presence of microscopic inclusions—carbon needles, pinpoints, clouds, etc—are Very or Very, Very Slightly Included
and can only be detected via magnification.
While the idea of a cremation diamond may seem nontraditional, the underlying principle—reverence of our departed loved ones—is not a new idea
. Relationships make our lives feel complete, and when a loved one passes away, we feel loss and grief. The desire to honor and remember our late family and friends is fundamental to the history of human experience.
Those interested in cremation diamonds have a number of options for display. Some may choose to keep the stone loose, but EverDear & Co. offers clients the choice to have their cremation diamond mounted in a unique cremation ring, pendant, or other type of jewelry—perhaps to be worn near the heart, or passed down as a priceless heirloom.
Death is difficult to process, but EverDear & Co. helps clients find a unique way to celebrate the life of a loved one. And like the glittering, timeless diamond made from the ashes of their remains, the company hopes the presence of lost loved ones will never fade away.