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From Ashes to Diamonds: A New and Disruptive Post-Cremation Alternative on the Rise

Memorial diamonds are a beautiful tribute to a deceased

The UK’s long withstanding tradition of storing a deceased’s ashes in an urn after cremation is no longer the only existing unique tribute used to eternalize the legacy of a deceased, thanks to memorial diamonds. Memorial Diamonds are a new, disruptive and meaningful way to preserve the legacy of your departed loved one with a beautiful gem; a greatly appreciated post burial alternative that is already gaining momentum in the UK.

UK Cremation Rate on the Rise Enabling the Memorial Diamonds Industry to Take Off

A funeral market report made by IBIS World in December 2017 stated that the UK’s funeral industry is currently worth a massive £2 billion with an estimated current average life expectancy of 81, according to the World Bank. The Industry consists of companies and organizations that provide services such as funerals, cremation or burial, and memorials. This includes funeral homes, coffins, crematoria, cemeteries and headstones.

Cremation, which refers to disposal of a dead person’s body by burning it to ashes, usually after a funeral ceremony is now the most popular type of funeral in the UK with 58% of the 1,546 adults surveyed online by YouGov choosing cremation for when they die compared to the 17% that would opt for a traditional burial. As a result, the cremation rate in the UK has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 34.70% in 1960 to 77.05% in 2017.

Why do people choose cremation in the UK? 

memorial diamondsCost factors: Cremation is an affordable option compared to traditional burial. As of 2018, cremation fees in the UK start at roughly £400 but can go up to £ 1,070 in towns like Beckenham in the London Borough of Bromley and on the other hand, the average funeral in UK costs £3,784.

The aspect of mobility: The cremated ashes, usually stored in a beautiful urn can easily be moved around especially if the bereaved need to relocate in this era of globalization. Traditional burial plots, on the other hand are very limiting as it becomes hard to maintain and take care of them with different members of the family spread throughout the world.

The simplicity of cremation:  Direct cremation, which is a disposition option in which the body is cremated immediately after death, without a funeral service beforehand eliminates the hustle of a traditional burial and its related practices. Cremation is simple yet meaningful way to sendoff a loved one.

Lack of burial space: London is expected to run out of burial space completely within the next 17 to 20 years according to a 2015 BBC Report. These insufficiencies have forced most modern families in the UK to resort to cremating their loved ones since even the few existing plots charge exorbitant prices.

A lot of people in the UK are therefore looking for new and uniquely customized post cremation alternatives such as memorial diamonds to help send off their deceased loved ones as opposed to simply storing the deceased’s ashes in an urn at home.

When Science Can Mimic the Natural Process of a Diamond Growth in Laboratories

memorial diamondsMemorial diamond creation in the lab requires a combined skillset

Memorial diamonds are diamonds created in laboratories from the carbon extracted from the cremated ashes of your departed-one.

The process for creation of both memorial diamonds and natural diamonds require extreme heat and high pressure. However, these diamonds differ in mineral content and their process of formation, as natural diamonds are minerals that form in the Earth’s mantle over a billion years while memorial diamonds are grown in the lab from the carbon content of your loved one’s cremated ashes using an HPHT technology.

Some of the skills from experts involved in the memorial diamond creation process include; Science, Technology, Art & Design and Gemology.

How are memorial diamonds created?

The hair or cremated ashes of the deceased are measured to determine whether they contain enough carbon to be turned into a memorial diamond; about 200g of ashes or 10g of hair are required. The carbon content of ashes differs in every case and therefore may not be enough for memorial diamond creation in some instances. The ashes are then placed in a specialized crucible and the crucible is heated to over 5000F to make sure every element except carbon oxidizes and then temperature is raised further so that carbon can become graphite. The graphite with a metal catalyst and a diamond seed crystal are placed into the core. The core goes into a specialized diamond press capable of creating extreme tension which then starts working thus bringing the pressure to about 800,000 pounds/square inches.

During the last stretch when the press is working, the temperature in the room stays about 2500F so that the ashes turned memorial diamonds become solid. Purification takes approximately 5,000 minutes for each memorial diamond ordered. Impurities are removed and reduced to 1/500 of the original impurity content providing 4N purity (99.99%). Every little detail matters when turning ashes into memorial diamonds. Memorial diamond specialists use highly specialized state-of-the-art equipment that allows the greatest precision, quality and stability. Scales are accurate to 0.001(g).

The renowned world leaders in the memorial diamond industry include; Swiss based Algordanza, UK- based Heart in Diamonds, USA based LIFEGEM and LONITE which is based in Switzerland but has a branch office in London, UK.

Memorial Diamonds: A More Affordable Solution to Traditional Cemetery Burials?

According to the Royal London National Funeral Cost Index 2017, the average funeral in the UK costs £3,784; an average cost increase of 3% between 2016 and 2017. This amount varies significantly between regions and can even be seen to vary significantly locally; the most expensive locations reported in the RLNFCI surveys include Kensal Green (av. £6,516), Enfield (av. £6,141), and Beckenham (av. £5,551). The least expensive locations include Belfast (av. £3,036), Paisley (av. £3,180), and Glasgow West (av. £3, 194).

The ashes to diamonds cost in the UK on the other hand varies according to the size, cut and color of the memorial diamond selected; sizes of memorial diamonds range from 0.1ct to 0.25ct.

The ashes to diamonds cost in the UK ranges from £1400 to a little over £15,600 for memorial diamonds like the purely colorless ashes into diamond that requires a lot of technical effort to separate boron and nitrogen from the carbon extracted from the cremated ashes prior to creating the memorial diamond altogether. Smaller memorial diamonds also require extra precision compared to bigger memorial diamonds which in turn affects the price of the finished memorial diamond.

The funeral industry in the UK is shifting towards more personalized approaches to burial. Most modern families in the UK today are interested in post burial alternatives like memorial diamonds that are uniquely customized to celebrate the life and legacy of their deceased loved ones; the relatively affordable ashes to diamonds cost makes it an even more viable solution.