| Step 1 Collecting Cremation Ashes or Hair
Normally the cremation ashes are around 2kg to 3kg, the cremains consist of a vast number of chemical elements. The human body consists of around 25% of carbon or carbon compounds, during cremation most of the Carbon escapes as gaseous Carbon Dioxide. In the ashes still remains a small amount of Carbon. The remaining Carbon accounts for a weight portion of around 0.5 up to 2.5% of the cremated remains, which can be proven by every accordingly equipped laboratory.
At least 500g of cremation remains are required, in order to make sure to be able to isolate enough Carbon for the diamond synthesis of at least one diamond.
Hair consists of around 50% 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 second Carbon source such as a personal letter, diary or a picture of the deceased can be used to isolate enough Carbon for the synthesis of at least one Memorial Diamond.
(Video clip of memorial diamond creation process)
| Step 2 Isolation of Carbon from the Ashes or Hair
Once we have received your ashes or hair in our Algordanza Swiss lab, we need to isolate the carbon from the cremation ashes or hair. Before carbon can be extracted, CNH analysis is used to confirm that the cremation ashes contains sufficient carbon without any modification to the ashes.
(Image above: Analysis and confirm ashes contains sufficient amount of carbon)
Oxide and possible metallic constituents of the cremated remains are removed wet chemically and the high-carbon indissoluble residue is isolated through filtration. This residue weighs only a few grams, yet contains between 50% and 90% of amorphous Carbon.
(Image above: Carbon extraction)
| Step 3 Conversion into Graphite
The Carbon solely from the remains of your loved one converts under high pressure and high temperature to graphite. The purified graphite is the foundation for the subsequent diamond transformation inside our own HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) machines.
Before a Memorial Diamond can grow, we have to increase the purity of the isolated Carbon. In order to receive an increased purity Carbon Dioxides must be removed, metallic impurities vaporised and a distinct Graphite structure generated.
This is achieved, through heating up the amorphous Carbon up to 2'500 to 2'700°C. Past this process stage the Graphite reaches a purity of around 99%. The arrangement of the Carbon atoms in the Graphite structure facilitates significantly the subsequent diamond synthesis.
| Step 4 Growing Cell
In the following step the Graphite from the cremated remains is set into a specific growing cell.
The growing cell consists of 25 components, which are all manufactured and assembled by hand by our staff. This task requires the highest Swiss precision, otherwise the diamond growth may be aggravated or even impeded.
The growing cell creates the perfectly isolated surrounding for the undisturbed growth of a Memorial Diamond, while the natural conditions are simulated.
| Step 5 Growth Process
The growing cell is meticulously set into the HPHT-press. HPHT signifies High Pressure High Temperature. Our HPHT-presses are constructed specifically for ALGORDANZA's necessities and weigh more than 14 tons each.
(High temperature high pressure crystallization machine originally designed by Algordanza)
The growing cell is exposed to a pressure of around 60'000 bar and a temperature of 1'400°C inside of the HPHT-machines. Here the Graphite structure converts slowly into a diamond. The bigger the diamond should become, the longer the growing cell stays in the HPHT-press; the duration of the growth process determines the requested size of the Memorial Diamond.
Our diamond synthesis equipment are incredibly powerful machines. Their potential is fully demanded for the creation of Memorial Diamonds. They have the ability to generate a pressure of 60’000 bar and temperatures of 1400° Celsius. This procedure is called high-pressure-high-temperature-onecrystal-synthesis.
The technology was developed in soviet research centers. On the basis of this technology we have advanced the technology and brought it to a maturity phase.
Through research cooperation with considerable universities in Europe, we have advanced, and will continually advance, the method of the diamond synthesis. Our goal is to extend the most state-of-the-art production site for synthetic diamonds in Switzerland.
We are proud of the outcome of our long-time research work: Our own HPHT-machine prototype - it promises shorter growth times of our Memorial Diamonds.
(Image above: Growing process for the diamond)
| Step 6 Removal and Opening of the Growing Cell
At the end of the calculated duration of growth for the requested diamond size the growing cell is removed from the press.
The growing cell is opened layer by layer. Single components of the cell are collected, refined and recycled within the scope of the environment.
| Step 7 Rough Diamond
Inside of the cell core, embedded in molten metal, the newly grown Memorial Diamond is located. It has its distinct and consistent crystal faces and is called Rough Diamond by ALGORDANZA.
The Rough Diamond is uncovered and cleansed from the alloy carefully through an acid bath.
(Rough Diamond before taken out of molten metal)
| Step 8 Cut and Polish
According to the family's request the Memorial Diamond will be cut or handed over as a polished rough diamond. Cutting and polishing a diamond is a real craft and only made by experienced experts by hand.
The diamond cut will be made by external experts. If the Memorial Diamond is requested as rough diamond, the ALGORDANZA staff solely polishes the abrasive start face of the diamond growth.
(Image above, Algordanza cut and polish the memorial diamond)
| Step 9 Laser Inscription
Each hair or ashes diamond is engraved with a small laser inscription on the diamond's girdle.
(Image above, laser inscription of Algordanza Diamond)
The laser inscription consists of the ALGORDANZA signet and the unique reference number of the order. On request an individual message can be engraved additionally to the reference number. The laser inscription is only visible under a microscope with a magnification of at least 30 times.
| Step 10 Certificate and Check
After cutting, polishing, and engraving the Memorial Diamond, the diamond is extensively documented.
Each ALGORDANZA Memorial Diamond is handed over with a certificate, giving information about the origin of the Carbon, authenticity as well as other specific characteristics of the Memorial Diamond. Each certificate is signed by Rinaldo Willy, founder of ALGORDANZA.
| Step 11 Receive Your Personal Memorial Diamond
The finished Memorial Diamond can either be personally picked up by yourself in Switzerland or an Algordanza UK representative will deliver it to you in person. It is at the family's discretion to either keep the Memorial Diamond in its diamond casket or have it set into a piece of jewellery.
(Image above, delivery of Algordanza Memorial Diamond by our UK Representative)
The Algordanza Memorial Diamond goes through many stages of development before it becomes your personal memorial diamond. The entire operation—from initial receipt of ashes in the Switzerland lab to final personal delivery of the memorial diamond—typically takes four to eight months. The company processes approximately 1,000 memorial diamonds a year and has representatives in 35 countries.
Please contact us if you wish to find out more.