Sometimes we forget that science and fashion go hand in hand. Textiles turn into fabrics that are then dyed, screen-printed, cut and sewn. Chemicals are then used during bleaching, embossing, steaming, and stiffening. All of these components make up a world where elements are combined and are ultimately made into something beautiful. The same scientific beauty can be seen with the Swiss startup company, Algordanza, who is taking the brilliance of a diamond to another plateau.
While the diamond has always been regarded as a representation of love, celebration and remembrance, it can now hold a deeper sentiment. For the past decade Rinaldo Willy, CEO of Algordanza, has used science to transform human ashes into diamonds to create what they call memorial or remembrance diamonds. Some might find this idea a little disconcerting or unsettling, while some may be intrigued.
The process begins with an examination of the ashes for authenticity, simply because every country has their own laws of cremation. Then non-carbon molecules are mixed with human ashes, while other particles are then removed. Afterwards the clean ashes are stored in a compartment and high temperatures are applied. Atoms are bonded together during this process, the same way diamonds are produced.
It takes roughly a week to make the diamond and about 4-6 months to fully complete the order. The ashes-to-diamond process can range from $5,000 to $20,000, and every year, Algordanza transforms the remains of about 800-900 people, 25% of whom come from Japan. While Algordanza can’t technically determine a color or size of the diamond before it’s complete (because they vary depending on the ashes), they can assure you authenticity. According to Frank Ripka, Algordanza’s CTO, “It’s a kind of science, but it’s also art.”