Bil Browning

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Filed By Bil Browning | October 12, 2005 11:54 PM | comments

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Here's one disturbing story via Yahoo News. It seems you can now turn your dearly departed's ashes into diamonds. Can't you see the naer-do-wells scratching their heads trying to figure out a good scheme? Off the spouse and turn the body into jewels. If you have a good insurance policy you could make out, well, like a bandit...
CHICAGO (AFP) - Everyone said she was a gem. Now, just eight ounces of cremated remains is all it takes to turn your mother into a diamond.

In fact, there's enough carbon in those ashes to make about 20 gems. And there will still be several pounds of ashes left over to display on the mantelpiece.

So far, nobody's ordered more than 11 diamonds, said Dean VandenBiesen, vice president of operations for LifeGem, which uses super-hot ovens to transform ashes to graphite and then presses the stone into blue and yellow diamonds that retail for anywhere from 2,700 to 20,000 dollars.

"It's not for everyone," VandenBiesen admitted, adding that for those who do chose to immortalize their loved ones in jewelry, the experience is extremely positive.

"We have people that approach us who have just experienced a tragedy and they say I can't wait, I'm so excited about this," he said. "In the field of death care, when someone says I'm really excited about this, I think we've achieved what we wanted to do which is change the culture of death."


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AUTHOR: Morgan

DATE: 10/13/2005 11:06:27 AM

I hate to burst your bubble, but LifeGem is really old news.


AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 10/13/2005 11:24:23 AM

No different, really, than Victorian hair jewelry and not all that dissimilar from Tibetan use of reliquary bones to create sacred objects.Memory and impermanence established in balance. There's something kind of good about it, in fact.