Friday, November 18, 2005

Because "Kinda Creepy" Is Forever

I'm not sure how I missed this, since it has apparently gotten some press lately, but fortunately my ever-vigilant friend Sue picked it up from a discussion on the Chronicle of the Horse forums.

Pretty, eh? Is it a gemstone? Cubic Zirconia? Costume? Nope, it's a diamond. An honest-to-gosh diamond. Like a cultured pearl, it wasn't formed the conventional way, but it's no less "real" than its compressed-under-megatons-of-hot-earth-for-eons counterparts. You probably know that before a diamond is a diamond, it's carbon. So it is with these. What unusual in this case is the source of the carbon: (Charlton Heston voice) "LifeGems are people! They're PEOPLE!" It's not Soylent Green--it's a "LifeGem--because love lives on."

Yup. Dead, cremated (in that order, one would hope) people, to be exact. You send this company 8 ounces of your cremated loved one, and in six to nine months, you will receive it back in the form of a beautiful yellow or blue diamond in the setting of your choice. (A note to the ladies here--discussion of the "8 ounces" requirement with your husband/boyfriend should be avoided. It only results in juvenile, bawdy speculation about where those 8 ounces should come from, and what manner of jewelry could be made from it. Trust me.)

How does it work? Well, first of all, carbon is "captured" from the remains of your loved one. [shudder] "Once captured, this carbon is heated to extremely high temperatures under special conditions. While removing the existing ash, this process converts your loved one’s carbon to graphite... we now place this graphite in one of our unique diamond presses, which replicate the awesome forces deep within the earth - heat and pressure."

After 6 (for yellow diamonds) or 9 (for blue diamonds) months, you have a "rough" diamond, which is then cut, refined, and polished...even if ol' Earl never really much was when he was alive. It was observed among the "discussion group" that was examining this site along with me that most of the testimonials were from women, and it was further postulated among this (all female) group that this was because men would probably just as soon get a new woman as preserve the old one. This soon disintegrated into some morbid scenarios such as a man giving a diamond made of Wife #1 to Wife #2 as an engagement was all downhill from there.

Oh, and as discussed on the COTH board, you can also "gem-in-ize" your departed pet. "Oh, these earrings? Why, thank you--they're my dead Guinea pigs, Alfred and Hitchcock."


  1. Oh my! My one thought on all of this is, if you married a really fat spouse, would you get a bigger diamond? Can you send in MORE than 8 ounces to get maybe a 4 carat memory of that damn drunk you married? This is just one more reason to murder your spouse, you know. My ex is worth more dead as a diamond than alive as a deadbeat.

  2. Nope. They don't WANT more than 8 ounces. They swear that will provide enough carbon for all the diamonds you could ever want. On that COTH board, someone mentions having 75 POUNDS of her horse's ashes sitting around, but they don't take more than a cup. And to make these diamonds is way more expensive than buying the regular kind. So it would really have to be an act of love, I suppose. Unless you could use the ex's money to have it done, I guess.

  3. I can't imagine:
    "beautiful diamond."
    "Thanks. It's my first husband. My new husband understood how I wanted him with me."

  4. Well,
    gives a whole new meaning to family jewels, doesn't it?

  5. Huh-huh...Ariella said "family jewels." Heh, heh.

  6. before my (minor) surgery last month, every single medical person i spoke with asked me if i had a living will/medical directive. it got me thinking, so i discussed my wishes with my sister & husband. they were instructed to pull the plug, donate my useable organs, and make me into a diamond. because, how cool would that be? "oh, what a lovely ring!" "thank you. it's my sister."