Rest in (a Jewelry) Piece: Deriving Diamonds From the Dead

We've all heard of man-made diamonds. But never before have we had diamonds made of man. LifeGem is an Acro, Ill.-based company that manufactures synthetic diamonds from the cremated remains of deceased loved ones or pets. The company uses a patented process that takes the carbon out of cremated remains, then subjects it to heat and pressure until it becomes diamond. Like most synthetic producers, the company creates primarily fancy-colored stones—including blues, yellows, and reds—although the company expects "to be creating colorless LifeGem diamonds very soon." LifeGem CEO Greg Herro says it takes just a "thimble-full" of carbon to create a LifeGem, and up to 100 stones can be created from one person. The idea grew out of dissatisfaction with existing memorial options, Herro explains. "This is more than a memorial to visit on the weekends or place on a shelf," he says. "Th

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