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Memorial Diamond: The Cost And The Price

Updated: Sep 14, 2023


A Colorless Lab-Grown Diamond Ring
A Colorless Lab-Grown Diamond Ring


TABLE OF CONTENT


  1. Discovering the World of Memory Diamonds

  2. The Making of Memory Diamonds in the Laboratory

  3. Breaking Down the Cost of Memory Diamonds

  4. How Much Does It Cost to Turn the Ashes into a Memorial Diamond?


Life gems with memory, also known as diamonds from ashes, memorial diamonds, or cremation diamonds are gems created from the hair or cremated ashes of a deceased loved one or pet.


By virtue of being the hardest naturally occurring substances on Earth, diamonds have over the last few centuries cemented their place as the universal symbol of eternal love. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the practice of immortalizing deceased loved ones through these precious gems continues to grow in popularity across the globe.


Discovering the World of Memory Diamonds


Apparatus Used in Hpht Technology
Apparatus Used in Hpht Technology

Research on the manufacture of diamonds in controlled laboratory environments began in the United States, Sweden, and the Soviet Union around the 1940s and resulted in the discovery of the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) processes for diamond synthesis.


By 1954, General Electric's laboratory had produced the first batch of lab-grown diamonds from industrial carbon sources.


Memory Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds


Memory diamonds are chemically and physically similar to natural diamonds. They are made of the same material as natural diamonds: pure carbon, crystallized in isotropic 3D form. The only difference is where and in how long they each take to form.


Whereas memory diamonds are created in laboratories over a period of 3 to 9 months depending on the features (4Cs) selected, the natural diamonds we see today were formed deep within the Earth's mantle over 3 billion years ago.


Memory diamonds are not to be confused with diamond simulants, which are merely imitation gems made of non-diamond material.



The Making of Memory Diamonds in the Laboratory


Scientists in Gemology Laboratories Used Specific Equipment to Distinguish Memory Diamonds from Natural Ones
Scientists in Gemology Laboratories Used Specific Equipment to Distinguish Memory Diamonds from Natural Ones

Memory diamonds are scientifically possible because the human body is made up of 18% carbon and diamonds are basically crystallized carbon. Other elements such as Nitrogen (N) and Boron (B) are what make the resulting diamond amber or blue in color. The following is a step-by-step process of how memory diamonds are made.


Material Examination


First, the laboratory scientists analyze the hair or cremated ashes to determine if they contain enough carbon to transform into diamonds. The carbon content of ashes varies from case to case, and may or may not be enough for the diamond-making process. LONITE™’s laboratory requires a minimum of either 200g of cremation ashes or 10g of hair.


Planetary Nano-Crystallization


An impurity remover is applied in a special solvent to remove unstable chemicals. The ashes or hair are grounded and stirred into nanopowder in a special chemical gas environment. The impurities then attach to the impurity remover and are separated from the material by a high-speed centrifuge. Special treatments and techniques are implemented to fully retain the remaining carbon whilst reducing the other extracted elements to a fractional minimum.


Heated Vacuum Purification


The ground and purified materials are heated to extreme temperatures to eliminate volatile impurities. In this step, oxygen is removed, and inert, protective, and reducing gases are injected to protect the ashes or hair from oxidation.


Wet Chemical Carbon Purification


The carbon in the hair or ashes is then placed in a safe and durable cabinet, which is a wet chemical environment that improves purity by removing heavy metals. The programmed control process of specific temperature, stirring speed and chemical reagent addition ensures the carbon quality. At the end of this final purification step, the carbon purity is as high as 99.99% (4N purity). If the purity level does not reach 99.99% at this stage, additional customized purification steps will be implemented to remove specific residual impurities.


HPHT Crystallization


A Lonite Memory Diamond with a Gia Certificate
A Lonite Memory Diamond with a Gia Certificate

The purified and extracted carbon is transformed into cylindrical flake graphite. Before being placed in the diamond synthesizer, the cylinder is carefully wrapped in a protective and support material. This prepares the final technical steps that require pressure and temperature measurement, insulation, and protection. The conversion from carbon to memory diamond takes 3 to 9 months, depending on the size and color of the diamond to be created.


Diamond Polishing


The rough diamond can be found in the middle of molten metal in the growth cell. It is extracted, cleaned in an acid bath, and then carefully cut and polished.


Breaking Down the Cost of Memory Diamonds


The cost of LONITÉ™ memory diamonds in the USA starts at $ 1400. This covers the entire diamond-making process, including shipping and delivery costs.

Diamond Color

Prices (0.25ct)

Naturally Amber™

$ 1400

Greenish Yellow

$ 2000

Red

$ 2000

Pink

$ 2200

Black

$ 2000

Blue

$ 2200

Purely Colorless™

$ 2400

Factors That Impact the Prices of Memory Diamonds


The Gemological Institute of America(GIA)created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight - known as the 4Cs of Diamond Quality. The 4C’s make or break a diamond's quality as well as its price. Here is why.


Diamond Cut


A Princess-Cut Memory Diamond
A Princess-Cut Memory Diamond

A diamond’s cut is arguably the most important of the 4Cs because it has the biggest impact on the stone’s brilliance. The word “cut” is sometimes used to describe a diamond’s shape — as in, round, emerald, or princess-cut. How well a diamond is cut affects how light is reflected through the gem and, as a result, how beautiful and fiery it appears to the human eye.


In the case of memory diamonds, some people prefer to maintain the gem in its rough and uncut form. This can be arranged on request for as long as there is no attempt to cut the diamond after delivery because inexperienced diamond cutters might break the diamond.


Carat Weight


The carat weight of a diamond is the size of the gemstone. (Carat is a metric unit of weight, equal to one-fifth of a gram.) The larger the carat weight of the diamond, the higher the value of the gem. As diamonds become larger, prices will increase exponentially, because memory diamonds larger than a few carats require additional time in the diamond synthesis machine.



Most people think that diamonds are white or transparent, but in fact, they come in many colors, from transparent or "colorless" to yellow or brown. For white diamonds, the less the color of the diamond, the higher the grade and therefore the higher the value.


In conclusion, the costs, and expenses involved in the making of memory diamonds vary based on the manufacturer and the diamond features (4cs) selected. However, you should plan on spending at least $ 1,400 in the USA.


How Much Does It Cost to Turn the Ashes into a Memorial Diamond?


An Amber-Colored Memory Diamond
An Amber-Colored Memory Diamond

The cost of turning ashes into a memorial diamond is based on the weight (carat) and color of the diamond desired. While cremation diamonds are a special way to memorialize your loved one, the process of creating these diamonds is akin to craftsmanship, making them expensive. Smaller carats generally start at $1,400 (0.25ct), while larger carat weights and more refined diamond cuts can go up to $ 40,500 (3.0ct).

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