Still searching for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Well, diamonds are forever. So goes the old marketing slogan. And now, thanks to high tech advances, there’s a whole new spin on the meaning of “forever,” because companies today can turn a deceased loved one’s cremated ashes into sparkling memorial diamonds.
All it takes is eight ounces of ashes – or if you prefer, 10 ounces of cremated bones, or a mere 0.4 ounces of hair.
Valentine’s or Voodoo?
Some call it science. But to me, it more voodoo than I love you.
For the non-geologists in the room, diamonds – that is traditional, made-in-the-bowels-of-the-earth diamonds – are formed through a combination of extreme heat and pressure. Then, these crystals are brought to the surface by long-ago “very deep-seated,” violent” volcanic eruptions.
Most diamonds are between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old. So, based on age alone, diamonds do qualify as “forever.”
Diamonds are Forever?
Yet, as broken-hearted lovers who call off engagements (and marriages) along with students of political science – and therefore, political strife – agree, mined diamonds are decidedly not conflict-free.
And that’s where companies like Algordanza and LONITÉ come in, offering a high tech alternative made out of those heretofore unused cremation ashes, bones, or hair of your loved one or perhaps not-so-loved one.
How Long from Ashes to Diamonds?
Well, it depends on the size of the diamond. A small cremation sparkler takes about three months. A large one six-eight months. But, as one cynic observed, that’s still less time it takes to make a baby. So, plenty of time for those facing the pressures of a shot-gun wedding!
But I’m a worrier … and a traditionalist. So, if this ashes-into-diamonds thing becomes a thing, I foresee a sea of religious, ethical, and etiquette issues arising.
First, what will happen to the tradition of lovingly scattering the ashes of your loved one to the wind or the beach or the seven seas? Will this practice be viewed as just plain wasteful in years to come? Will wills need specific provisions addressing who inherits the dearly departed’s ashes – and for what purpose?
In my case, if I yearn for an urn to be placed on the family mantel, will my wishes be upheld or overturned by some greedy family member seeking a sparkly babble? It makes my middle-aged face turn ashen and gray!
What about Right Rites?
Clearly religious rites will need rewriting. In particular, the “ashes to ashes” prayer will require an update if increasing numbers of people opt to go the sparkly ashes-to-diamond route. I can already hear the collective sighs, amens, and oy vehs of ministers, priests, imams, and rabbis worldwide.
Who knows though? Perhaps a few of those blessed with a more philosophical approach will consider cremation diamonds a classic example of when God gives you lemons, turn it into shiny, profitable lemonade!
Family Etiquette 101
Inheritance issues also seem dicey in this brave new memorial diamond world.
If Grandma doesn’t offer you the Art Deco diamond ring you’ve had your eye on and makes it clear it’s going to your cousin when she passes on, is it OK to ask her if she’d mind you making a replica of it out of her cremated remains? Pardon the obvious pun, but the answer remains to be seen.
If you didn’t like your mother-in-law in life, is it still OK to snip 0.4 ounces of her tresses pre-cremation flame for some after-her-life shiny bling?
And what about gold-diggers? Will they be held up to a new level of societal scorn and distrust? Will their prenups require special provisions to ensure the rush to the altar isn’t intended to snag a share of their intended’s imminent cremation cache of ash and bones?
A Regular Regulatory Nightmare
And when there’s a profit, there’s an opportunity for abuse. Who will monitor crematoriums to prevent dishonest staffers from raking funereal ashes here and there is a sordid, but lucrative black market diamond scam? I can see the movie marquee now, Funeral at Tiffany’s, about a nationwide ashes-into-diamonds syndicate.
But for You Sentimental Souls
But maybe I’ve got this all wrong. Perhaps I’ve become too cynical in my old age. Maybe memorial diamonds are lovely and sentimental. After all, ultra-cool Angela Jolie and her one-time spouse Billy Bob Thornton wore vials of each other’s blood to proclaim their eternal love for each other. Well, wait! That didn’t work out well for them, did it? Their marriage lasted less than three years! But still, perhaps memorial cremation diamonds, are sweet and I just don’t see it.
Wait just a Dog-Gone Minute
And for those who don’t see cremation diamonds in a ghoulish light, then I suppose it’s fair to ask, do the ashes have to be human? Or can Fido, Fifi or your pet cat Tiffany be post-mortem bling-a-fied?
Well, whatever your opinion of memorial diamonds, this much is clear: unlike my aging and muddled brain, a diamond – mined or manmade – stays sharp, shiny, and, as the song goes, lasts forever! Happy Valentine’s Day!