Frequently Asked Questions About Ashes to Diamonds
- Cremation Diamonds - Ash Diamonds - Memorial Diamonds -
Yes – the ALGORDANZA memorial diamond has the same physical and chemical properties as a natural diamond. In our production site in Switzerland we recreate the natural formation conditions so that your individual ALGORDANZA cremation diamond can grow.
Our service starts at R36 000 for a 0,3 ct medium sized diamond in South Africa. The price is determined by the carbon source, selected size and cut of your chosen cremation diamond.
No – the size of the diamond depends on the duration of the process. The longer the memorial diamond stays in the growing phase, the larger it becomes.
The cremation of an adult can produce up to 4 kg of ash. It is not the volume of ash that is decisive for the growth of a an cremation diamond, but its carbon content. As a rule, 500 grams of ash are enough for the production of a cremation diamond.
If you do not desire a traditional burial for the remaining ashes, there are a few options to consider. The entire ash volume could be left in the production process until the entire cremation ash is completely transformed. Algordanza can send back the remaining ashes to the funeral home in order to put in an urn or scattered in nature near the loved one’s place of birth. Algordanza also has their own forest cemetery in Switzerland which the remaining ashes could be scattered upon request.
In special situations, such as cremation of small children or cremations with significant excess of oxygen, it can happen that the carbon in the cremation ashes given to us is insufficient to successfully grow one or more memory diamonds. In these cases, after the carbon analysis, we contact the funeral home and/or the bereaved and find a common solution, such as Two Sources / Origin.
During the cremation process of the corpse and coffin, the carbon goes through a metamorphosis. E.g. the German law stipulates a minimum temperature of 650 °C in the main combustion chamber in which the coffin is located. In the following downstream chamber, the significantly raised temperature of >850 °C prevents the emission of harmful gaseous emissions. During cremation, a large part of the carbon escapes as gaseous carbon dioxide. The proportion by weight of the carbon remaining in the main combustion chamber is generally between 0.5% and 2.5% of the dry cremation ash. This can be demonstrated technologically by appropriately equipped laboratories. The carbon is isolated from the ash by a wet-chemical process or pyrolysis and serves as the basis for the later diamond synthesis.
Due to technical and legal reasons, a cremation always takes place in a coffin. Therefore, the cremation ashes will contain minor components of the coffin, clothing, as well as potential implants. It is technically impossible to separate and divide the cremation ashes and the carbon. As a result, the diamond lattice of the memorial diamond can contain some carbon atoms from the coffin or the clothing.
Since hair contains approximately 51% carbon, only 5g of hair is required to grow one or more memorial diamonds.
For the additional carbon source of an ALGORDANZA Origin, hair, photos or letters can be used. The personal object should be directly related to the deceased.
Yes, we are able to create more than one diamond from the requested carbon source. We can specify the number of possible diamonds after detailed analyses of the source in our laboratory.
The synthesis takes about 4-8 months beginning from the date of receiving the carbon source and the receipt of the payment. Since the synthesis of a diamond is a highly complex process, in some cases, it can take more time. We assure you that quality and precision are our first priority.
The coloration depends on the element boron within the diamond. The more boron is bound to the carbon grid the more intense is the blue colouration. We do not influence the colouring of the diamond. The unique blueish colouration emphasizes the uniqueness of your personal memorial diamond. In case of low boron density, the diamond will have a light shade of blue or possibly be colourless. The environment we use for the diamond growth prevents the incorporation of nitrogen atoms of the atmosphere into the diamond crystal lattice, which would result in a yellowish color of the memorial diamond.
Our top priority is the respectful treatment of the cremated remains in the process of cultivation of the memorial diamond. Obtaining the carbon from the cremated remains is the basis for the growth of the memorial diamond. Many steps of purification and graphitization are done between the ashes and the carbon extracted from it. Sometimes, in addition to the carbon, some very small trace elements of the cremains enter into the crystal lattice and appear in the diamond as inclusions. We regard this as a special proof and feature of the individual origin and the personal character of our unique memorial diamonds and not as a downside. The majority of Algordanza memorial diamonds have a quality level of VS1 or better. But we cannot guarantee a certain quality level due to the special origin of the carbon.
No – the age of the ashes or hair is not relevant for the synthesis, we have made memorial diamonds from ashes that are decades old. The main factor is the carbon content within the ashes, which does not diminish over time.