Facts about ALGORDANZA Memorial Diamonds
All memorial diamonds should be blue
ALGORDANZA does not influence the colour of their diamonds. Not changing the colour of a memorial diamond means that the unique properties found in your loved one are kept and reflected within an ALGORDANZA diamond.
The Gemological Institute of America has found that the element boron makes diamonds blue, a small amount of boron may make the diamond almost colourless. A large amout will make the diamond dark blue. Since our bodies naturally contain the element boron, all diamonds made from ashes or hair should be a shade of blue.
The addition of nitrogen from generic carbon or poor processing will make a diamond yellow, amber or even black.
Exposing the diamond to radiation turns them green, pink or red and breaks down the diamond lattice, making a diamond weaker. Also, thin-film coatings are sometimes used on diamonds to make them other colours.
Ash vs. hair diamonds
Algordanza diamonds made from ashes are grown only from cremation ashes of which a minimum of 500g is needed to grow. If a company needs less than 500g of ashes, generic carbon, not from your loved one, is being used in order to grow the size of diamond wanted. ALGORDANZA guarantees that your diamond is made of 100% of your loved ones cremated remains.
Hair diamonds, a brilliant alternative
Sometimes there is not 500g of ashes available in order to grow a cremation diamond or the deceased wished out of personal or religious reasons, a traditional burial. Since hair contains approximately 51% carbon, a much smaller amount of hair can be made into a diamond, approximately 5 grams of hair is required.
Age of ashes does not matter
The age of a person’s cremation ashes is irrelevant, rather the carbon content which does not diminish over time is important. ALGORDANZA has created diamonds from ashes that are decades old.
Unfortunately many urns containing cremation ashes are stored and forgottten in attics, cellars or closets, a cremation diamond is not a container blocking out light, rather it lets in light making the loved one sparkle again, even after decades.
ALGORDANZA is the only cremation diamond expert in the world who opens their laboratory to the public. You can bring us your loved one’s ashes or hair and/or pick up the finished diamond.
Trust without obligation
ALGORDANZA does not offer a starter kit, considered by many “A marketing Scheme”, a starter kit makes you feel obligated to buy after spending the initial cost. If we cannot convince you of our quality and service on our website, then visit us in Switzerland, at our headquarters we not only have beautiful scenery, we have great coffee and cake.
Cutting a diamond increases its brilliance
The cut is the only quality feature that can be changed by human hands. The right cut is crucial because only through this art can the inherent fire and beauty of the diamond be brought out. When cutting, the proportions of all facets to each other are crucial.
Rough diamonds are more unique
Rough (uncut) diamonds are unique, no two diamonds grow the same, just like the loved individual they are made from. Only ALGORDANZA offers rough diamonds, because only we produce our own memorial diamonds in Switzerland. Rough diamonds also cost less and contain all of the individual they are made from because nothing is cut off in order to make a specific shape.
Pet memorial diamonds
We believe that losing a beloved animal companion can be just as heartbreaking as losing a family member. Therefore we have partnered with Semper Fides who are animal lovers like us, but have more experience with the loss of a precious pet.
Algordanza and Semper Fides understand the difference in size of pets compared to humans and therefore having different amounts of ashes or hair available which could affect diamond growth.
Semper Fides is world renowned, having created diamonds from famous horses like the “Satchmo”, “Goldfever” and “Shutterfly” diamonds.
Cremation diamonds help with grief
A memorial diamond is simply the compressed form of the cremation ashes they once were. Some individuals keep the ash diamond in a case on display at home, just like an urn would be displayed. However, many people have their memorial diamond made into jewellery, this allows an individual to take their lost loved one to places they couldn’t go before they passed away as well as being able to keep them as close as possible.
The manufacturing process: This is how a memorial diamond is created
Carbon is the element of life and the basic material that makes up 99.9% of every diamond. Diamonds are formed by nature in the earth’s interior under tremendous pressure and enormous heat. In order to be able to create diamonds from human ashes or from hair, we must simulate the same conditions found in nature.
To do this, the carbon is first isolated from the ashes or hair of the deceased, then transformed into graphite and finally pressed into a diamond.
Measuring carbon concentration in ashes and hair
The human body consists of around 20% carbon or carbon compounds. During cremation most of the carbon escapes as gaseous carbon dioxide. The remaining amorphous or chemically bound carbon (carbonates) accounts for approximately 0.5 to 3.0% of the cremated remains, which can be proven by any laboratory having the necessary equipment.
Hair consists of around 51% Carbon. For the creation of one or more ALGORDANZA Hair Memorial Diamonds we need at least 5g of hair. If not enough cremated remains or hair are available, a third carbon source such as personal letters, a diary or photos of the deceased can be used to isolate enough carbon for the synthesis of at least one Memorial Diamond. Please contact us in this case.
Isolation of carbon
A multi-stage chemical process is necessary to create a memorial diamond. Inorganic, oxidic and metallic components within the cremation ashes are removed through a chemical process and the carbon-rich, insoluble residue is isolated by filtration.
For a hair diamond, the hair is first charred, then through pyrolysis, the carbon is separated from the other elements and isolated. The remaining amount of carbon is usually a few grams and contains between 50 and 90% amorphous carbon.
Graphitization of carbon
Before a cremation diamond can grow, we have to increase the purity of the isolated carbon. In order to increase purification, impurities must be removed and vaporised. The distinct graphite structure is then created.
This is achieved by heating up the amorphic carbon from 2,500°C up to 2,700°C in a vacuum environment.
Past this stage of process, the graphite reaches a purity of approximately 99%. The arrangement of the carbon atoms in the graphite structure is essential to significantly advancing the subsequent diamond synthesis.
The diamonds' growing cell
In the following step the graphite from the cremated remains is set into a specially made container we call a growing cell.
The growing cell consists of 22 components, which are all manufactured and assembled by hand by our staff of professionals in Switzerland. This task requires the highest precision, otherwise the diamond growth may be stunted or even impeded.
The growing cell is an isolated container which generates the growth of a cremation diamond, simulating natural conditions.
Growth process of a diamond
The growing cell is carefully set into a High Presseure High Temperature (HPHT) press with exact precision. Our HPHT presses are constructed specifically for ALGORDANZA’s necessities and weigh more than 14 tons each.
The growing cell is exposed to an approximate pressure of 60,000 bar and a temperature of 1,400°C. Within the growing cell the graphite structure slowly grows into a diamond.
The longer the growing cell stays in the HPHT-press; the longer the growth process, and therefore the larger the cremation diamond will be.
Opening of the growing cell and removal
At the end of the calculated growth phase, which is determined by the desired diamond size, the growing cell is removed from the press.
The growing cell is then opened layer by layer, revealing the rough diamond within. Single components of the growing cell are collected, refined and recycled when possible.
The rough diamond
Inside of the cell’s core, embedded in solid metal, the newly grown cremation diamond is located at its center. It has the distinct, consistent crystalline facets typical of an uncut or rough diamond.
Cutting and polishing
Either the diamond will be handed over to the family as a rough diamond or per request taken to a diamond cutter to be cut from the 6 most popular cuts available. Cutting and polishing a diamond is a real craft and only made by experienced experts by hand.
If the cremation diamond is requested as a rough diamond, the ALGORDANZA staff only polishes the abrasive facets created through diamond growth.
Each ALGORDANZA cremation diamond is engraved with a laser inscription on the diamond’s girdle consisting of the ALGORDANZA signet and the unique reference number of the order. If requested an individual message can be added at the end of the reference number on rough diamonds only. The laser inscription is only visible under a microscope with a magnification of at least 30.
Examination and certification
After cutting, polishing, and engraving the memorial diamond it is carefully inspected and extensively documented.
Each ALGORDANZA Cremation Diamond is handed over with a certificate, giving information about the origin of the carbon and authenticity as well as other specific characteristics of the cremation diamond. Each certificate is signed by Rinaldo Willy, founder of ALGORDANZA.
Delivery of your cremation diamond
How to order your ash diamond
3 steps to order your diamond from ashes or hair
- First, contact ALGORDANZA in the UK for current ashes to diamonds pricing and information
- After you have decided on the carbon source, size and cut , sign our contract and pay 50%
- As soon as the contract is signed, we will secure the ashes from you or your funeral home
That’s all there is needed, a memorial diamond is just as easy to arrange as any other burial, we help you through the process. Once the order is placed, we will give you an approximate time of completion and update you on each phase of the process.
Why a cremation diamond as a unique burial alternative?
Memories to cherish and hold on to – By creating cremation or memorial diamonds from the ashes or hair of a loved one, you capture the essence of that special person and instead of a traditional urn stored at home or at a cemetery you can remember that special person in a more unique and close way.
More affordable than traditional funerals – A cremation or memorial diamond will still cost less than a standard burial, which can cost up to £7,500 or more (Average traditional funeral in the SE of England).
Ethically better diamonds – Many natural diamonds are still obtained through severe human rights abuse as well as the exploitation of children, workers and whole communities. It can cause devastation and severe damage to the land as well as the local water supply.