After cremation, most people think of ashes being “sprinkled,” held in an urn, or interred. One client recently told me she noticed an advertisement for what struck her as an odd but interesting service – the creation of jewellery from the ashes or hair of a loved one. Out of curiosity, I “googled” some relevant search terms and discovered that there is a plethora of such services available.
Companies such as Cremation Jewelry, Jewelry Keepsakes, and Ashes to Ashes, advertise a wide selection of “memorial jewellery”, where ashes are held in “a locket or similar, in powder form”, or are incorporated into the jewellery in other ways. One company boasts its jewellery is “very private, and nobody will know you have your loved one with you.” Another company, Memorial Gallery Pets, seems to be exclusively devoted to creating jewellery that incorporates the cremated remains of your prized dog or cat.
For those looking for something different (and more expensive), Life Gem describes its product as a “high quality diamond created from a lock of hair or the cremated ashes of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life”, a process they developed over 10 years ago and patented, based on diamond creation processes they say was pioneered by General Electric back in the 1950s. Their website describes the process as:
First, carbon is captured from the existing remains of any standard cremation, or from a lock of hair. Then, the carbon is purified. It is heated to temperatures of approximately 3000 degrees centigrade in a crucible that is only used once and is marked to maintain traceability. This process removes existing ash and converts the carbon to graphite. The third step is the “creation” process, in which the graphite is subjected to forces of 1,000,000 p.s.i. In the fourth step, the diamonds are then custom cut, laser etched, and graded by gemologists. The company claims their diamonds are molecularly identical to naturally occurring diamonds.
Lesson Learned: Maybe wills will need to indicate the wish or provide the power for personal representatives to do this. The memorial jewellery itself may also create another “asset” to be argued over.
Until next time,