Science of Hair or Ashes into Diamonds

How Ash diamonds are formed?
A Truly Remarkable Process of how the diamond is formed!

Diamonds are only made up of one element, carbon when carbon dioxide is buried 100 miles under the earth’s surface and heated to a temperature of 2,200 degrees F and then squeezed to a pressure of 725,000 Ib per square inch. A diamond is formed.  Our amazing technology and machines can simulate these natural conditions and grow a real diamond from your loved ones’ ashes or hair.

10 Stages of Transformation Journey Starts Here;

Stage 1 Collecting Ashes or Hair from you

Cremation ashes consist of approximately 20% carbon, whereas hair consists of around 51% carbon. For the creation of one or more Algordanza diamonds, we need at least 500g of ashes or 5g of hair.

During cremation, most of the carbon escapes as gaseous carbon dioxide. The remaining amorphous or chemically bound carbon (carbonates) accounts for approximately 0.5 to 3% of the cremated remains. The cremation ashes can be decades old, and the amount of carbon in the ashes is most important.

Stage 2 Isolation of carbon from ashes or hair

Turning ashes or hair into a diamond is a multistage process. Since carbon is the basis of everything we know, and cremation diamonds consist of almost pure carbon, with the exception of boron, the carbon needs to be separated from the cremation ashes.

The first step is to chemically remove any oxidic and possible metallic elements within the cremated remains and the highly purified carbon is then isolated through filtration. Both the chemical and filtration processes take many days of constant work and observation to complete. This isolated carbon weighs only a few grams, yet contains between 50% and 90% amorphic carbon.

Stage 3 Increasing purification to 99.99%

Before a diamond can be grown, we have to increase the purity of the isolated carbon. In order to increase purification, impurities such as nitrogen which turns a diamond made from ashes yellow, amber or brown, must be removed and vaporised. The distinct graphite structure is then created.

Past this stage of the process, the graphite reaches a purity of approximately 99.99%. The arrangement of the carbon atoms in the graphite structure is essential to significantly advancing the subsequent diamond synthesis.

The highest quality processing possible, which means higher costs and time to take to grow a diamond from ashes and hair, also increases a diamond’s clarity. Because of the purification process, more than 80% of all of our diamonds are VS1 or better, which means no visible flaws or inclusions. The only way to see an inclusion by diamonds is through the use of a microscope. And less than 1% of all diamonds found in nature are flawless.

Stage 4 The diamond’s growing cell

In the following step, the graphite from the cremated remains is set into a specially-made container we call a growing cell. The growing cell consists of 22 components, which are all manufactured and assembled by hand by our staff of professionals in Switzerland.

This task requires the highest precision, otherwise, the diamond growth may be stunted or even impeded. In order for the diamond to know how it should grow, we take a real diamond and put it in the growing cell as a type of “blueprint” for the cremation diamond’s growth synthesis. The growing cell is an isolated container which simulates the natural conditions in which a diamond grows.

Stage 5 Creation process of a diamond

The growing cell is carefully set into a High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) press with exact precision. Our HPHT presses are constructed in Germany specifically for necessities each weighing more than 14 tons.

The growing cell is exposed to an approximate pressure of 60,000 bar and a temperature of 1,400°C. Within the growing cell, the graphite structure slowly turns into a diamond. The longer the growing cell stays in the HPHT press, the longer the growth process, and therefore the larger the diamond will be.

Stage 6 Opening of the growing cell

At the end of the calculated growth phase, which is determined by the desired diamond size, the growing cell is removed from the press. The growing cell is then opened layer by layer, revealing the rough diamond within.

Single components of the growing cell are collected, refined and recycled when possible. Please note that since a diamond actually grows, the end size of the diamond may be smaller or larger than calculated, since everything grows at different rates, just like we do.

Stage 7 The rough diamond

Inside the cell’s core, embedded in solid metal, the newly grown cremation diamond is located at its centre.

It has the distinct, consistent crystalline facets typical of an uncut or rough diamond. The rough diamond is uncovered and cleansed from the alloy carefully through an acid bath.

Stage 8 Cut and polish

ALGORDANZA does not have the means to cut diamonds, however, we use an expert diamond cutter. Either the diamond will be handed over to the family as a rough diamond or per request taken to a diamond cutter to be cut from the 6 most popular cuts available.

Cutting and polishing a diamond is a real craft and is only made by experienced experts by hand. If the cremation diamond is requested as a rough diamond, the cutter only polishes the abrasive facets created through diamond growth.

Stage 9 Laser inscription

Each cremation diamond is engraved with a small laser inscription on the diamond’s girdle. The laser inscription consists of the signet and the unique reference number of the order.

If requested an individual message can be engraved additionally at the end of the reference number. The laser inscription is only visible under a microscope with a magnification of at least 30.

Stage 10 Examination and certification

After cutting, polishing, and engraving the memorial diamond, the diamond is extensively documented.

Each cremation diamond is handed over with a certificate, giving information about the origin of the carbon and authenticity as well as other specific characteristics of the Cremation Diamond.

Ready to Get Started?

Follow our ordering process and start the amazing journey with us!