A US company is providing a novel new service to the recently bereaved by converting the remains of deceased loved ones into one of the world's most imperishable substances – genuine diamonds.
Illinois-based LifeGem can transform the cremated remains of the recently deceased into authentic diamonds for prices ranging from $3,000 to over $25,000 depending upon the carat quality.
A $3,000 payment can convert a loved one into a quarter carat diamond, while a full carat diamond entails a fee of at least $25,000.
LifeGem, whose company slogan is 'from ashes to diamonds,' can also vary the color and cut of the diamond, with hues on offer including blue, green, yellow and red.
The creation of a diamond from human remains is a lengthy process, requiring up to a year to heat and pressurize a single cup of cremated matter into diamonds.
According to funeral director Don van Straaten in a San Francisco Chronicle article, customers cover a broad range of income groups, yet all of them share a single, common goal. 'They just want an everlasting keepsake – and a diamond is forever, you know.'