You Can Turn Your Dog’s Ashes into a Diamond – Seriously
Diamonds created from the ashes of a pet or a loved one go by many names: memorial diamond, cremation diamond, eternal diamond.
No matter what you call them, this particular memorial option has been gaining steam as an alternative for what you can do with ashes rather than having them sit on a shelf or in a hallway (one woman once told me she kept her dog’s ashes in the attic!).
Vets, influencers, celebrities and more are leaning towards this option as our dogs become more apart of our lives and our families.
But, there is one really big question remaining: how exactly do you turn ashes into a diamond?
Here is a deep dive on the science of this new ashes to diamonds memorial option that takes 7-11 months to create:
Step 1: Purifying the Carbon
When you send in your dog’s ashes, the first step of the process is to purify the ashes into carbon in the form of graphite. To do that, a high heat, no oxygen environment is used.
This is what the elemental carbon looks like once it has been purified.
From here, the graphite is ground up into a fine powder and is placed in a growth cell.
Step 2: Growing the Diamond
The diamond growth process begins once your dog’s ashes have been purified into carbon in the form of graphite and then ground into a fine powder.
From here, the powder is put into a growth cell containing a diamond seed, as well as additional purified carbon that will aide in growing a larger diamond. This seed is providing the basic structure for the carbon in the growth cell to model after.
Keep in mind that diamonds are pure carbon, but so too is coal and pencil lead (which is graphite). Similar to how water can be air, liquid, or gas –– the heat, pressure, and molecular bonding pattern of the carbon is what creates the final product.
Once the growth cell is ready, it is placed into a High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) machine.
In these HPHT machines, the conditions below the earth’s crust are replicated. Temperatures inside the machine are above 2,500 degrees Celsius (the temperature of the mantle) and more than 1,450ksi of pressure.
This process takes anywhere from two to three months depending on the desired size and color because it is not uncommon for us to need to grow a diamond a couple of times until it is perfect.
Technically, each diamond growth cycle takes only 7-10 days. The extra time added is to ensure that your loved one’s diamond meets your precise specifications. Everyone’s carbon is uniquely different, so scientists need to test and find the perfect combination of heat and pressure for each individual.
This is what the raw diamond still in its growth cell looks like.
Step 3: Cutting the Diamond
Once the diamond is finished growing, it is now time to cut the diamond to the proper shape. This is where we will know for sure if the target carat size has been reached.
Like naturally occurring diamonds, memorial diamonds often come out of their growth with inclusions (or imperfections). These intrusions must be cut around for a clear diamond (the clarity aspect of diamond grading within the 4Cs – cut, clarity, color, carat).
This means that the diamond will shrink in size from its original size. Master diamond cutters use computer software to see which angles will be the easiest to get the right cut and carat while getting rid of any inclusions.
Below is a sample diamond scan used by diamond cutters:
From here, the diamond cutter uses a sawing and grinding process to achieve the desired cut.
Step 4: Coloring the Diamond
This is the stage where the color of the diamond is transformed, if desired.
Cremation diamond color options include:
There are two types of coloration: irradiation and HPHT treatment.
Irradiation Diamond Coloration
- Controlled radiation (electron bombardment) reacts with trace elements to alter the color structure of diamond
- All diamond colors can be achieved through this process
- The final color is highly dependant on trace element composition
- Pink and Green yield best results with very low nitrogen content
- Red and Black can start from a darker yellow with higher nitrogen content
HPHT Diamond Coloration
- High pressure and temperature anneal the crystal structure
- Redistributes element composition
- Can lighten a darker yellow to a lighter yellow color
- Can be used to enhance the color of irradiated pink or green
Which coloration process is used for your diamond depends on the desired final color and the color of the diamond after it leaves the growth cell.
Step 5: Grading the Diamond
Each memorial diamond receives a final diamond grading report. That report details the cut, clarity, color, and carat of the diamond. It looks like this:
Step 6: Bringing Them Home
Once the diamond is grown, cut, colored, and graded, it is hand-delivered back home to you for safekeeping and setting.
The diamond homecoming day is an incredibly special day. Many people throw small parties or get-togethers with friends and family as support. Others film their reactions to seeing the diamond for the first time and share those videos with loved ones who are farther away.
Psychologically, this is the day you’ve been waiting for more than 8-10 months. Your pet is back home in the form of a diamond. Their brilliance is back. Their facets. It’s a moment worth celebrating.
For more information or to order a diamond from your pet’s ashes, visit Eterneva by clicking here.