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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Swiss Company Compresses Cremated Ashes into Diamonds

These diamonds, made from animal ashes, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.

These diamonds, made from animal ashes, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Rinaldo Willy/Algordanza

Sure, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but now these diamonds on this girl’s lovely neck might be her relatives. You say it sounds gory? Of course it does, and it yodels, too.

NPR reported today about the Swiss company Algordanza, which takes cremated human remains, applies high heat and pressure that mimic the Earth’s, and compresses them into diamonds.

Rinaldo Willy, the company’s founder and CEO, says he came up with the idea a decade ago, and people loved it. His customers, he says, span 24 countries.

I know you’re tempted to bring up the past, as in, roughly, 1942-45—I am, too. I suppose the Swiss who stashed away the deposits of Jewish customers who perished in the camps, would have been delighted to also put their ashes to good use. There, I said it, so you won’t have to.

Each year, Mr. Willy processes the remains of between 800 and 900 people. It takes three months, and, presto, there’s grandma on a necklace.

Willy says human ashes turn out as bluish diamonds, because our bones contain trace amounts of boron. But once in a while these human diamonds come out white, yellow and even black.

“Every diamond from each person is slightly different,” Willy says, sounding almost poetic and not at all ghoulish. “It’s always a unique diamond.”

Willy says about 25 percent of Algordanza’s customers are from Japan.

Why am I not surprised?

The turn-mom-into-jewelry process costs between $5,000 and $22,000, more than a funeral, but also shinier. And it takes the average natural diamond millions of years to transform from charcoal to gem—here you get it in 12 weeks.

“The more time you give this process, the bigger the rough diamond starts to grow,” Willy says.

An American company called LifeGem offers the same services, but, somehow, you trust a Swiss person to turn expired people into wealth.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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6 Responses to “Swiss Company Compresses Cremated Ashes into Diamonds”

  1. Lisa Kamins says:

    sick and horrifying. this is disrespectful of human beings, and their remains.

  2. I have no use for Europeans at all, 21 European countries killed their own Jews, moved into their home and businesses and never paid reparations to the survivors. Europe will forever be soaked with Jewish blood. Bunch of thugs that's all they are.
    Holocaust survivor.

  3. Gary Harper says:

    So wrong, on so many levels. Now even grandma is to pass through the fire to feed your own selfish desires?

  4. Basha Kline says:

    I see the inclusions are fragments of hearing aids, false teeth, hip replacements and new knees, lovely!

  5. This is really gruesome. I would never do it.

  6. Eva Deutsch Costabel, I'm completely with you on the holocaust, but also consider the very disproportionate involvement by Jews in the rise of Communism in Russia which led to millions of Christians perishing, in abortion which has turned mothers against their own children, and in advancing a culture of depravity in Hollywood. Stuff like this has turned family life upside down with the constant "in your face" sex and violence.

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