From Ashes to Diamonds: Custom Memorial Jewelry

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear
- e.e. cummings

After loss, it's very normal to want to keep a part of someone you love close to you. Knowing they are in your memories and heart is great and all, but it's not the same as a tangible, physical part of them still in your life.

How and when and why you use remains is a very personal decision, and there are many meaningful ways to create memorials and ceremonies. And trust me, I know. I have used ashes to create a necklace, a tattoo, and a tree. I've scattered ashes on multiple continents and had public and private release rituals. And I am definitely open to more ideas, too. So in my most recent search for actually desirable cremation jewelry I came across Heart in Diamond, a unique company which creates diamonds from the ashes or hair of loved ones.

While grief is the emotional reaction/response to loss, mourning is the process one undertakes to deal with the void that is now left. 
Mourning is the process of acclimating to living a life without this special someone.
- Jade Kramer

The custom of memorial jewelry spans centuries and cultures, created as a way to keep loved one's as a part of every day life by using their remains such as hair, ashes, nails, or even blood placed inside a necklace or a ring. Often, multiple pieces of jewelry would be made and given to family and friends as a way of creating special heirlooms and carrying on memories. 

These days,  jewelry no longer has to be just a container for the remains of our loved ones, but instead you can choose to transform your loved one’s ash into a gorgeous and permanent form that can be worn whenever you want to have them close to you.



The process is simple: you just need ⅔ cup (or about 3.5 oz.) of cremated ashes or ½ cup (or about 0.07 oz.) of hair for each diamond - you can even combine both. And don't worry, if you don’t have the precise amount of hair or ashes available, your memorial diamond can easily be created with additional generic carbon.

The carbon in your hair or ash sample is extracted and added to the diamond growing foundation, then placed in a High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) machine. This machine mimics the process diamonds go through when they grow naturally in the Earth’s crust.

Your diamond gets placed under an intense pressure of 60,000 atmospheres and an extreme temperature of 3,632°F, and from this, a 100% unique diamond grows. 

Depending on the color and size of the diamond you choose, it typically takes between 70 — 120 days to grow. Considering that it can take at least a billion year for a natural diamond to be created, this seems like a fairly reasonable turnaround.

Once your diamond is finished, it is polished and cut to meet the same industry grading standards that govern natural diamonds. Your diamond is 100% real and receives a grade according to the 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat.



Start by choosing a color, cut, and weight. 

Red gemstones can be used to strengthen the body, promote will power and courage, and add vitality. Wear a red accent piece when you want to present yourself as bold and dynamic, and add enthusiasm and energy into your life. Red is the color of passion and is thought to help protect from fears and anxieties.

Orange gemstones contain some of the fiery energies of red, but have a more gentle and creative spirit. They are used to promote personal power and are useful for people who could use more self esteem. Orange gemstones promote creativity, mental quickness, and the ability to adjust to changes. Wearing orange during times of stress or shock can help to balance your emotions. It can bring about the willingness to embrace new ideas with enjoyment and a sense of exploration.

Green gemstones are used to attract money, prosperity and wealth. They are balancing stones that promote growth and fertility. Wear green when you want to overcome a sense of thwarted ambition. Green says growth – balance – harmony. It is a color of healthy relationships.

Blue gemstones promotes peace and are used to calm ragged emotions. They are used to provide relief to people who have difficulty sleeping or who have nightmares. They offer inspiration and enhance the quality of communication. Wear blues for a stable, calm feeling. All shades of blue will help to make easy communication, whether it is with yourself or others.

White gemstones are ruled by the Moon and are associated with sleep and psychic energy. They are often used for good fortune and protection after dark. White crystals amplify the powers of other stones. Some say that because white stones contain all the colors, they can act as substitutes for stones of any color.  Wear white helps to clear clutter and obstacles away and start a fresh beginning.

Prices range from $750 - $19,000 depending on size and color. Payment options are available, and you can choose from Heart in Diamond's over 500 setting styles, though you are also able to go to your local jeweler to help create a custom necklace, ring, bracelet, or earrings with your diamond as well. 



Beyond the sentimentality and aesthetic, I really appreciate the ethics of Heart in Diamond. I've long eschewed diamonds for their environmental destruction and violations of human rights, but unlike with many (if not most) natural diamonds, the laboratory-made diamonds are not destroying natural resources or the areas in which they are mined, and are not mined by slaves or children. Heart in Diamond's gemstones are guaranteed 100% conflict-free and none of the profits are used to fund wars or terrorism. 

By the way, Heart in Diamond is the only memorial diamond company that owns their own production facility, located in St. Petersburg, so you can know the source and supply chain of your meaningful memorial. 

While this is a grief blog and therefore I focused on the memorial aspect of custom diamonds, there are many other times you may want to create a meaningful diamond with the hair of the living, too - births, weddings, graduations, or other landmarks. You can also use ashes and hair from pets, so whatever your occasion or whoever you want to save a part of, there are many gorgeous ways to keep those who are close to your heart close to you every day.