While not a terribly new phenomenon, I do get asked about this quite a bit. LifeGem has had quite a bit of press over the past few years over turning a loved one into a diamond. How can this be possible?
Well, basically the process involves carbonising cremated remains to produce an artificial diamond. This can be done from locks of hair right through to the entire remains.
What are my impressions of this? Well, it reminds me of the hairworking industry at its height. Why so? Well, due to the high levels of production in the 19th century, much of the hair given to the jeweller was often not used. Hair was colour matched and imported from around Europe. Often, hair could be sourced (say, from convents), where women grew their hair, cut it and sold it. The hair was long enough to be woven, blonde hair could be sourced from the European northern countries, darker hair from the south and so on. It was a much more workable material for the weavers to use, as the length was better and it was easier to treat, rather than be given a small lock of hair to be placed in a ring or brooch, when that would be incredibly difficult to tablework. So, the loved one had no idea that they were getting back hair from someone else, but the sentiment is there.
So, when I think of supplying my loved one to be turned into a diamond, just how can I be sure that I’m getting that loved one back? How do I know that I’m not getting a cubic zirconia where it should be sweet uncle Bob who is now in a landfill somewhere? There’s no discernable DNA testing or real method of being sure, other than watching the process (which takes several months). They say you can make 100 gems out of one person and the carats go from .20-3.00. How is that controlled? Is the diet of the person responsible for their own production?
Either way, LifeGem is the way to go if you’re wanting this modern mourning jewel and regardless of the method and what you get, the sentiment is there wearing any part of a loved one is a beautiful thing.