Cremation is a very popular post-funeral option for many modern families in the United States. According to the Cremation Association of North America, the cremation rate in the United States has in recent years surpassed traditional burial twice in a row, accounting for over 51.6% of all body disposals. Today, other than simply keeping the cremated ashes in an urn at home, most bereaved are venturing into forging cremation diamonds from the deceased’s ashes.
Cremation: A More Affordable Burial Option for Many U.S. Families in 2018
As of 2016, the USA funeral industry was valued at $14.2B with over 115,000 cemeteries with an estimated 300 casket sellers and approximately 19,322 funeral homes; 30% of whom operate their own crematories.
The available traditional approaches to burial in USA are cremation and cemetery burial. However, there is an increasing popularity of cremation in the U.S. funeral industry over cemetery burial, especially amongst modern families. As a result, the number of funeral homes in the USA has fallen by over 10% in less than a decade.
According to a report from the National Funeral Directors Association, about 50.2% of Americans chose cremation in 2016 compared to the 43.5% that chose burial. Notably, cremation rates vary across states, peaking in Washington at 76.4% as of 2015, followed by Nevada at 75.6%, Oregon at 74.3% and Hawaii at 72.7%. The lowest cremated rates featured in the Southern states of Kentucky at 24.6%, Alabama at 22.9% and Mississippi at 19.7%
The reasons why families in the U.S. choose cremation over cemetery burial are topped by affordability and convenience. The average cremation in the U.S. costs about $1,100, exclusive of memorial service fee, urn fee and any other optional services whereas the average cost of a cemetery burial in the U.S. is about $6,500, exclusive of a burial vault.
The high cremation rates in the USA have therefore been very instrumental in the cremation diamond industry take off.
Cremation Diamonds also Called Lab Grown Diamonds
Cremation diamonds are synthetic diamonds grown in laboratories using the carbon content of a deceased’s ashes or hair. This is possible because carbon is a very abundant atomic element that accounts for about 18% in the human body and diamonds are made of crystallized carbon.
Unlike natural diamonds that form in the Earth’s mantle over a billion years, cremation diamonds are created in a laboratory over a period of 6 to 9 months. Notably, scientists recreate the same conditions that nature uses (heat and pressure) in the creation of natural diamonds thus both diamonds end up looking almost identical.
However, cremation diamonds are of more sentimental value since they are a tribute created from the ashes of your departed loved one.
LONITE, which has a branch office in Buffalo, N.Y., creates lab grown diamonds by measuring the cremated ashes or hair to ascertain whether they contain enough carbon to be turned into a cremation diamond. The ashes or hair are stirred into a Nano powder in a special chemical gas environment and then an impurity remover in a special solvent is applied to remove unstable chemicals. Special treatment is applied so that the remaining carbon is adequately preserved, while other elements extracted are reduced to a fractional minimum. Oxygen is removed and an inert and reducing gas is injected to protect the ashes or hair from oxidation. The carbon extracted from the cremated hair or ashes is placed in a safe and resistant cabinet, in a wet chemical environment, to increase purity by removing heavy metals. The program-controlled process of specific temperatures, stirring speeds, and the addition of chemical reagents ensures the carbon quality. At the end of this final purification step, the carbon purity should reach as high as 99.99% 4N Purity). Be sure to verify that your cremation diamond vendor provides this kind of purity, since most of them don’t.
The purified, extracted carbon is converted into flake graphite in a cylinder shape. Before being placed into the diamond synthesis machine, the cylinder is carefully wrapped in protective and corbelled materials to prepare it for the final technical steps that require pressure and temperature measurement, insulation and protection.
Ashes into Diamonds: What Should You Expect?
The color of the cremation diamond: The naturally amber color of cremation diamonds is from the Nitrogen that makes up 3% of the human body, the color blue in cremation diamonds is from the life element, boron. Purely Colorless diamonds are created by extracting both nitrogen and boron from the carbon prior to making a cremation diamond from a deceased’s ashes.
Cut and size of the cremation diamond: Diamonds are measured in carat (ct.) and one carat equals to 0.2 g. Sizes of cremation diamonds range from 0.25ct to 1.00ct, the sizes affect the time it takes to create the cremation diamond which in turn affects the price. A cremation diamond can be kept rough and unpolished or it can be polished with a cut of your choice i.e. princess, radiant, Asscher, emerald, heart and brilliant which is the most popular cut style in the USA.
Setting to frame your cremation diamond: Framing your cremation diamond gives it a new outlook that pays tribute to the deceased’s persona in its own style. Any type of jewelry can be made by your cremation diamond vendor or an independent establishment depending on the metal of your choice, such as gold, silver and platinum. The most popular choices in the U.S. are pendants, rings and earrings.
Grading and certification: Most cremation diamond vendors deliver your cremation diamond with a certificate of origin, a process analysis report and scientific proof that your cremation diamond is from the ashes of your loved one. The production records, laboratory data, chemical analysis and physical factors can be re-verified and validated by any independent certification and quality control institute like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
The price of cremation diamonds in USA varies from $1,600 and can go up to $17,200 according to the size, cut and color selected.
Cremation diamonds are a very unique and personal sendoff for a deceased. Modern families in the USA have embraced this post-burial alternative as a means to commemorate the life, achievements and memories of their departed loved ones with a gem that widely symbolizes love and eternity.