Having lost a pet recently, I know all about the hard decisions an owner has to make at the end of a cherished animal’s life. And though burial or cremation are obvious choices regarding how to honor your pet in death, there is, it seems, a new option: making them into a diamond.
Yes, for a cost between $2,500-$25,000 (depending on the size and weight of the pet), a company called LifeGem can extract carbon from your pet’s cremated ashes and return a one-of-a-kind man-made gem to you.
It’s a four-step process: The cremated remains are heated to 5,000 degrees Celsius, which reduces them to purified carbon. The carbon then goes into a diamond press, where heat and pressure are applied at the same time to create the gem. The entire process can take up to nine months.
While the company was started with humans in mind, it soon discovered an untapped market. “Immediately, from day one, we had plenty of pet owners calling us,” Greg Herro, the CEO of LifeGem, tells MNN. “That appealed to me as well. I’m a big pet lover.”
Herro practices what he preaches. He turned his own dog — a 150-pound bull mastiff named Root — into two diamonds. One ended up in a ring for his wife. The other is in a bracelet he wears. “It was a comfort to me, and that’s how I knew it was a comfort to everyone else.”
In addition to memorializing pets as shiny rocks, LifeGem turned a lock of long-deceased composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s hair into a diamond. It was later auctioned on eBay to the tune of $200,000, thus proving people will buy anything. Herro and Co. are now working on a lock of Michael Jackson’s hair which, according to Herro, will be made into three small diamonds and offered to Jackson’s kids. Because that’s not creepy. At all.
Ehhh, I don’t know, folks. I understand the not-being-able-to-let-go-of-a-beloved-pet thing as well as anyone could, believe me. I get it. But this whole production makes me cringe more than a little. Beyond being massively, insanely expensive, it just seems a little… tacky?
What do you think? If you had the money to burn, would you make your pet into a nice pair of earrings or a toe ring (or something)?