Cremation Diamonds Are Changing How We Mourn

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In early 2019, Denise posted on the progress of the cremation diamond being created with her son’s ashes on Facebook. Within hours, she had more than 2,000 likes and 500 comments from friends, family members, and strangers. 

Many were offering their condolences. Most were shocked. Not by the diamond itself, but by Denise’s demeanor. It hadn't yet been a year since her son’s tragic accident, and here was his mother: talking about him with a smile on her face, light in her eyes, and positivity they hadn’t seen since that fateful summer.

“What had happened over those months,” many wondered. “What could possibly give this woman, and anyone suffering such a loss, so much hope in the wake of so much sadness?”

The Cremation Diamond Journey 

Cremation diamonds, also known as memorial diamonds, aren’t a well known memorial option, though they have been available for nearly two decades. They can be expensive. There is a lot of chemistry involved. And, they take a long time to make: 7 to 11 months.

But what Denise was feeling, and what her friends and family got to see, was the larger impact of a cremation diamond journey, and how it can alter someone’s relationship with grief. 

This was the same journey and realization Adelle Archer had three years ago before she founded Eterneva. When her close friend and business mentor Tracey passed, she received some of her ashes. 

Adelle was already entrepreneurial minded, thanks in large part to Tracey’s encouragement and business advice. At the time of Tracey’s passing, Adelle and her business partner Garrett were knee deep is figuring out the supply chain side of starting a lab-grown diamond company. 

The space was booming. It was the greener option. The pastures were for the taking. 

Then, Tracey passed –– and Adelle was unsure of what to do with her ashes. An urn didn’t feel right. Cremation jewelry where you funnel ashes into a sterling silver pendant wasn’t her nor Tracey’s style. 

It was something she brought up at a dinner with a lab-grown diamond supplier… when he said: 

“You know, you can make diamonds out of someone’s ashes.” 

No, Adelle didn’t know that. So few do. But the idea was perfect, and she was off to the races.

She found a company online that offered the service, and went through the sales process until it came time to send in the ashes and the check. Something felt off about sending in all she had of Tracey, with the promise of getting a diamond back in her mailbox a year later. 

She still had so many questions. 

  • About the human ashes to diamonds creation process

  • About being able to track Tracey’s ashes and ensure her ashes were in the diamond

  • About exactly how any of this really worked

So, with Tracey on her mind, she decided to figure it out for herself. 

A Personal Loss to Reshaping the Cremation Diamond Industry

Her and Garrett flipped their business model from lab-grown diamonds to memorial diamonds –– and packed up for Europe to find suppliers, all with Tracey’s ashes in tow. 

Adelle became Eterneva’s first customer.

  • She got to see Tracey’s ashes being purified in person.

  • She got to see that purified carbon put in a diamond growths cell, and then in a machine, and then taken out, and then cut into the size and shape she wanted. 

  • She got to meet every single scientist along the way. And she got to tell friends and family about the cool new journey she was on to honor such a good friend. 

It was a healing experience for her –– and one she knew she needed to make possible for others.

Today, Eterneva works with those scientists to make sure that every single cremation diamond made for the company comes with process videos so that friends and family can go on the journey, too. 

That is ultimately what Denise shared: the journey she took with her son, and the diamond she now gets to bring with her every day. 

Cremation Diamonds Are More Than Diamonds

Cremation diamonds are an incredibly special and unique way to memorialize a loved one with whom you had a remarkable relationship. They are real diamonds creating by mimicking the natural heat and pressure of the earth’s mantle. 

Beyond that, cremation diamonds take 7-11 months to create, which offers up the opportunity for journey to reshape your relationship to grief, bring friends and family in on the experience, and honor the legacy of someone who meant the world to you. 

There are so many things that make a cremation diamond a powerful tool in the grief process. Here are some of the more poignant points. 

1. It is a daily reminder of the person you love.

Loss and grief isn’t bettered by the complete removal of the person you love. The exact opposite is true! 

Small, daily reminders of that person, your relationship, how they encouraged and loved you are all helpful in facing the day to day minutiae, including the circular grief cycles that occur throughout the year. 

A cremation diamond provides that reminder for a few reasons. 

  1. Your loved one is physically with you, given their ashes or hair have been used to create the diamond you are wearing. 

  2. From the very first step of the journey, you are taking an action and step to honor the life of your loved one –– which deepens the ties you have to them. 

  3. Diamonds catch the light, and whether you wear it on your finger in a ring or on your neck in a necklace, there will be times the light catches it just so, and catches your eye. There they are back with you again, a small moment of memory from a person that made you who you are. 

2. It can be passed down generation to generation.

Studies show that most urns are thrown own with the next generation. Grandchildren think grandma’s ashes in an urn are creepy and weird – and they might not remember much about her anyway, other than the feelings they had looking at that urn. 

Cremation diamonds aren’t thrown out. They are instead passed down generation to generation, as can be the stories of who that person was and why they were honored with a diamond. 

So often, each of us loses our family history. Memorial diamonds can be a way to ensure that the history, narrative, and legacy are not lost to time. 

3. The cremation diamond journey is a grief changing journey –– seriously.

Yes, over the course of 7-11 months, you will receive your cremation diamond. But so much happens before that moment. 

The journey to the creation of the cremation diamond is so important, and there are so many milestones and updates along the way that can begin to help you change your relationship with your grief, as well as give your friends and family additional opportunities to be a part of your grief journey. 

  • From the moment you send in your ashes, you are updated once to twice a month with pictures and videos of your loved one’s ashes being purified and then put into a diamond growth cell in a lab by scientists. 

  • You’ll see your loved one’s name on the paperwork and in the videos as every single person on their journey learns about who your loved one was and what made them so remarkable. 

  • You get to watch as the diamond growth cell is put into the machine, and then when it is first taken out. From there, you’ll get a first look at what the rough diamond looks like. 

The journey continues all the way to a homecoming, and you get to share those moments with friends and family, who are often able to better help and support you as you share these small, meaningful moments of light about the next chapter. 

4. It’s changing a culture and reshaping how we think about death, dying, and grief. 

More than 57% of Americans are dealing with the loss of someone close to them within the last 3 years. Nearly all of us are living with a loss from even before then –– making room for it in our lives as we must to remember and honor those who continue to mean so much to us. 

Unfortunately, it isn’t a topic that is talked about all that often.

Most of us feel awkward when around those who are grieving. We don’t know what to say, how to say, etc. As a result, so many of us end up quiet –– avoiding the elephant in the room. 

Cremation diamonds help to change that, putting a bright and beautiful memorial front and center. It gives us all something positive to focus our attention on. It helps us understand which questions to ask: 

  • Who was your loved one? 

  • What was so remarkable about them?

  • How does this memorial option help you and honor them?

Each of us wants those we love most to never be forgotten, for their legacies to live on. 

  • To do that, we have to tell their stories.

  • To do that, we need friends who are willing to hear them. 

Cremation diamonds open the conversation from a less awkward place, and allow us all to focus on those who lived remarkably, and how we might be able to do the same. 

Examples Of How Customers Are Benefiting From Cremation Diamonds

Anecdotal stories about how cremation diamonds are changing grief culture are good, sure. But it is always better to hear directly from those who have gone through the process.

Below, we highlight three stories from Eterneva customers who went through the journey, and showcase their real texts and emails they sent to our team. 

The messages are up-lifting. You can also hear their smile in their words. And that’s the point. They’ve changed how they view grief, from something dark to something that can have lightness, hope, and honor. 

A life-changing gift.

Denise’s story was how I opened this article, but it’s worth retelling. When she lost her son Austin, her world fell apart. 

As she ventured along the memorial diamond path, she began to share her journey with friends and family, and later with her jeweler. She learned that she had a huge community of support, and a beautiful new way to honor her son. 

Here is a text we received from her:

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Bringing peace to those in pain.

When this person lost her husband, Ed, she was unsure of how to honor his memory. Nothing felt quite right. Until she started down the memorial diamond journey. When she had Ed’s cremation diamond placed in ring, it all felt so right. 

Here is the text she sent to our team:

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The ability to honor the person who meant the world. 

For many people, a cremation diamond is the ultimate act of service for the person they so loved. And every step on that journey gets them one step closer to fulfilling that eternal memorial option. 

For this person, the cremation diamond journey was truly a remarkable one. Here is the email she sent our team:

That text is small, so here is what it says:

“Just got to watch the videos and can’t help but be a little emotional watching that. I really cannot thank you guys enough. It is the coolest, most unique experience to get to watch something like this all happen for someone who meant the absolute world to me. I’m probably annoying with how much I say it, but I really thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. This is something I’ve been dying to do and you guys are making it so real for me!”

Cremation Diamond FAQs

From how much do these diamonds cost and specific carat sizes, to “Are these diamonds swiss?” and everything in between, there are a lot of questions about exactly how memorial diamonds, or cremation diamonds, are made. 

And there should be. This isn’t you just see online and then pay for. So, here are the answers to some of your most frequently asked cremation diamond questions. 

Are cremation diamonds real diamonds?

Yes, cremation diamonds are real diamonds with a strong focus on high-quality as rated by IGI, one of the two most renowned diamond grading organizations in the world. The other organization in the Gemological Institute of America, which is more experienced in grading natural diamonds. 

Memorial diamonds are lab-grown diamonds, but are grown very different from typical lab-grown diamonds. Most lab-grown diamonds are made in batches within a CVD machine. Cremation diamonds, also known as memorial diamonds, are made individually and in isolation of one another in an HPHT (high pressure high temperature) machine.

Either way, yes, cremation diamonds are real diamonds that are even certified by one of the top two leading diamond certification organizations: the International Gemological Institute, or IGI.  

Are cremation diamonds a scam?

No, cremation diamonds are not a scam. 

However, because they are different companies that provide the cremation diamond service, these companies each use a different amount of cremation ashes within the diamond.

Be sure to ask the company you are deciding to work with how much they use, and if you can see videos with your loved one’s name throughout the process. 

The trust-worthy ones will be able to make that happen absolutely no problem! 

How much does it cost to make a cremation diamond from ashes?

A cremation diamond cost typically begins around $2,500. 

Cremation diamonds can be more expensive than regular lab-grown diamonds and this is because cremation diamonds are grown individually and to the specifications of the customer. Lab-grown diamonds, in contrast, are grown in batches –– making them cheaper for the public. 

What is the process to create a cremation diamond from ashes?

The cremation diamond process takes 7-11 months and goes through roughly 6 steps. Those steps include:

  1. Cremated remains (human ashes) or hair purification

  2. Diamond growth

  3. Diamond cutting

  4. Diamond coloring

  5. Diamond certification

  6. Homecoming

You get a full deep dive on the ashes to diamonds process here (including graphics!)

How long does it take to turn ashes into diamonds?

The cremation ashes to diamonds process takes between 7 - 11 months. The time period will vary based on a number of factors including desired diamond size, shape, and color. 

What color are diamonds usually?

Diamonds are naturally grown as either colorless, blue, or yellow. Natural diamonds can also be black, base don the amount of imperfections within them. 

All other cremation diamond colors will go through an additional coloration process to transform the molecular structure of the diamond to get the color desired, including options like, pink, red, purple, and black. 

All color diamonds can be cut into your choice of cut, from radiant to brilliant cut and beyond. 

What country are your diamonds made?

Eterneva diamonds are made in the U.S., Germany, and The Netherlands. Which country your cremation diamond is made in will depend on the size and color you want. 

Where can I find reviews from people bought Eterneva cremation diamonds?

Eterneva reviews live on Facebook, Google Review, Trust Pilot, and in this hand blog post, where we’ve gathered many of our texts, emails, and more from our customers. 

Are there other companies that create cremation diamonds?

Yes, there are multiple companies that make cremation diamonds. There are only two based in the U.S.: Eterneva and LifeGem. 

The other cremation diamond companies are international and based in places like Russia or Switzerland. These include: Algordanza, Heart-in-Diamond, Lonite, and others. 

What distinguishes you from these companies?

Eterneva prides itself on our personalization of the cremation diamond journey. This is because our founder found the journeys of the other companies lacking in her own grief experience, but still wanted to have a cremation diamond made to honor her friend and business mentor, Tracey. 

We know that the chemistry behind how cremation diamonds are made is important, but we prefer to talk to people more about the person they lost, the grief they are experiencing, and build content and programs that help to reshape the conversation around death, dying, and grief. 

This is so much more than a memorial product. It’s a grief journey and experience. Sadness is normal. Grieving is healthy. We think we’ve found a pretty good way to do it. 

Conclusion

The death industry hasn’t seen innovation for more than 100 years. Your options have been an urn or a burial plot. For so many people, that’s just not what feels right anymore for honoring their loved ones. 

Instead, folks are seeking our memorial options that present more than journeys and experiences –– ways to extend, even if only for a little while –– their interaction with the one they lost.

From cremation rings using memorial diamond options to scattering ashes in national parks, or planning brand new types of funeral services, there is just so much you can now do to honor your loved one and family members the way that feels right for you. 

These experiences are also incredibly help for the grief journey, too, adding moment of lightness back into an often dark period.

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Tracey Wallace

Tracey is the Head of Brand Marketing at Eterneva, where she works with customers to tell the incredible stories of their loved ones to help us all live better, more thoughtful lives right now.