How much ashes are required to make a Memorial Diamond?

How much ashes are required to make a Memorial Diamond?

by Hiak Jin Hean | September 9, 2018

What is the amount of ashes required?

1. Natural Diamonds

2. What is the amount of cremated ashes required to create a memorial diamond

3. What if there isn’t enough ash?

In this post, we will be focusing on the amount of cremated ashes required to create a memorial diamond and what alternatives you may seek when there isn’t enough ashes. Before we delve into this topic, a foreword about how naturally occurring diamonds in nature are formed.  


1) Natural Diamonds

Carbon is one of the most important chemical elements in the universe, taking on many forms and appearances, the most valuable being the diamond. Others include a myriad of organic and inorganic substances, but pure carbon on its own, has three major forms of appearances- coal, graphite and diamonds.


The majority of diamonds found in commercial mines and deposits were formed in the Earth’s mantle. Through violent volcanic eruptions, they were brought to surface in large chunks of diamond-containing rocks called xenoliths. However, before these eruptions could even bring anything to the surface, the diamond would have had to be created in a “diamond stability zone”.  A temperature of over 1000 degree Celsius and very high pressure is required and this case, these conditions can only be found deep beneath the Earth’s surface[1]. (Find out more)



How diamonds are formed in the Earth’s surface

2) Amount of cremated ashes needed to create a memorial diamond

At Algordanza, we have re-created the diamond formation process in a lab setting, utilising extreme heat and pressures as observed in the diamond stability zone.  There are 5 steps to creating a memorial diamond but in the second step, a process called carbon extraction occurs.  So begs the question, how much carbon is actually needed from one’s ashes in order to create a memorial diamond?  In other words, how much ashes are required?  In fact, there can be varying amounts of carbon contained in ashes and in some cases, the amount can be influenced by the cremation process.  In Hong Kong, we receive almost pure bone ash from the crematoriums.

To make any size memorial diamond of up to 1 carat in size, Algordanza Hong Kong will request at least 500g of the cremated ashes, split into 2 separate air tight bags.  This amount will in most cases be enough to fill a memorial diamond order with a margin of safety.  For any ashes amount less than 500g, there is the risk that not enough carbon is available to reach what is required to form a memorial diamond.

3) What if there is not enough ash?

So, regardless of diamond size requested, 500 grams of cremated ashes is still required. In certain situations where there’s simply not enough ashes available, Algordanza is still able to conduct a composition analysis to check if there is enough carbon content to proceed with your order or not. In the case where there is not enough carbon, ashes will be returned at no cost and the order will be cancelled[2].


But what if you want to proceed with your order, despite not having enough ash? Well, in 2008, Algordanza established the novel approach, the “Stailas” memorial diamond was designed to help clients who would still like to proceed with the manufacturing of the memorial diamond.


Only natural materials that are combustible can be used to produce the diamond
in case there is not enough ash.


Algordanza  has made it a point to ensure the memorial diamond service is available in these situations where ashes are not quite enough. From experiences in Japan, a special type of diamond we call “Stailas”- The shining star in a revitalising of precious memories was developed.


Under these special needs cases, personal articles (that are made up of natural materials that are combustible) that once belonged to the deceased will be requested (i.e. clothing, plush toys, shoes or journals). The carbon extracted from these articles will be then mixed with the available carbon from the ashes.  In some cases, hair from the immediate family can be donated to provide the balance of carbon needed. 



HubSpot Video
How a Hong Kong couple chose to memorialise their first child who tragically passed away at such a young age. (Swiss TV SRF 13.10.2013)



To learn more about memorial diamonds, please review our definitive guide to memorial diamonds.






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Topics: Algordanza, ash, diamond, cremation, funeral, burial, memorial, jewelry

About the Author

Hiak Jin Hean


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