If your loved one didn’t leave specific instructions on what they wanted you to do with their cremains, you might be looking for unique things you can do with cremation ashes. One of the more unique ideas you can consider is to use a portion of your loved one’s remains to make a cremation gem.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Are Cremation Gems?
- How Much Do Cremation Gems Cost?
- How Do Companies Turn Ashes Into Gems?
- What Types of Gems Can Be Created From Human or Pet Ashes?
- Where Can You Purchase Cremation Gems and Jewelry?
Cremation gems and the process to make them can be very unusual but also worth learning about, especially if you want to do something one-of-a-kind for your loved one.
Below, we discuss the types of gems that can be made, the approximate cost for them, and what companies provide this service.
What Are Cremation Gems?
A cremation gem is made with a tablespoon of human or pet cremains. The crystals can be any shape and size, and thus will mimic any type of gemstone.
You can even have a diamond made with your loved one’s cremains. These diamonds are called “synthetic diamonds” or “laboratory-grown” diamonds, even though they look the same as a real one to an untrained eye.
How Much Do Cremation Gems Cost?
Cremation gems start at below $100 and can be as expensive as several thousand dollars. Most of the time, the gem is set inside a piece of jewelry and worn as a necklace or ring. Most companies will set the stone in the jewelry, so you are also paying for the setting as well as the gem.
Do not confuse cremation gems with cremation jewelry that holds cremains. You can buy rings or pendants with gems that have hidden areas to keep a tiny bit of ash. This type of cremation jewelry may be less expensive than cremation gems since they aren’t usually custom-made pieces.
How Do Companies Turn Ashes Into Gems?
Cremation gems can be made using several different methods.
In one method, the cremated remains are added to liquified colored glass. When the glass is heated to 2,000 degrees, a small bit of cremains is added to it. This high temperature causes the carbon to burn off, and the cremains change in color to a pure white. The glass can then be formed into the desired shape.
Cremation gems and diamonds are made differently. To make a diamond, the carbon that is left in the cremains is isolated and turned into a graphite powder. This process alone can take several weeks. The powder is processed and purified in the next step, and extreme heat and pressure are applied. The resulting diamond is then cut and polished.
Cremation crystals go through a similar process, and they can be made in a wide variety of colors and cut into any shape you prefer.
What Types of Gems Can Be Created From Human or Pet Ashes?
There is almost an endless number of possibilities as to what types of gems can be created from human or pet cremains. Here are some ideas.
1. Memorial diamonds
You may have never considered turning human or pet ashes into diamonds. If you have several thousand dollars and patience, that is entirely possible.
These synthetic memorial diamonds vary significantly in price, and depend on the carat, cut, color, and clarity. The price also depends on the customer service that the company provides.
If you're thinking about having a memorial diamond made, we like Eterneva.
2. Jewelry made from colored glass
On the other end of the spectrum, you can have a small portion of your loved one’s cremains made into colored glass that can be used as jewelry.
Since this process is much simpler, it is also a lot less expensive. Though this type of glass art is different from a grown gem, it is worth mentioning as a budget alternative.
3. Red gem
If you like the look of rubies and garnets, you may consider having your loved one’s cremains made into a red gemstone.
The range of red is dependent upon the color that results when adding your loved one’s cremains.
Was pink your loved one’s signature color? Create a ring or necklace out of a pink sapphire gem made from your loved one’s ashes.
If you prefer a more golden or orange-hued gem, consider asking for the cremains to be used to create a bronzed gem. This could look similar to a golden topaz or a champagne diamond.
Has southwestern jewelry always been your style? Your loved one’s cremains could be used to create an aquamarine or paraiba tourmaline stone.
7. Lavender or purple
Those who prefer amethyst pieces may prefer a gemstone that ranges from lavender to dark purple.
Who doesn’t love emeralds? You may be surprised to see the hue that is created from your loved one’s cremains.
If blue sapphires remind you of your loved one, consider creating a dark blue stone.
Bright colors do not appeal to everyone. If you prefer a more muted look, have a black stone created that looks similar to onyx.
11. Heart-shaped gem
Most cremation gem companies can cut the stone in a variety of shapes. You may feel that a heart-shaped gem is the most appropriate.
12. Cushion cut
Cushion cut diamonds have increased in popularity in recent years. It’s shaped like a pillow and can increase the brilliance of the stone.
13. Pear cut
Sometimes people choose pear-cut cremation gems because the cut is also similar to a teardrop.
14. Portuguese cut
The Portuguese cut is fancy and intricate. Even though it is round in shape, it is anything but simple.
15. Trilliant cut
The trilliant cut can be attractive to you for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you could use the cremains of three people or pets to create this triangular cut gem.
16. Customized gem
Some companies claim that they can create any size, color, and cut of gem that you would desire. Create the piece of jewelry of your dreams or one that reminds you of your loved one.
Most cremation gem companies warn that the exact color of the final gem may be challenging to predict.
Where Can You Purchase Cremation Gems and Jewelry?
Cremation jewelry is undoubtedly a niche market. You may not be able to find a local company to complete the process for you. Here are some ideas on where to look.
Cremation jewelry companies with online stores
The easiest way to find a cremation jewelry company is to start with an online search. There are a couple of companies that seem to dominate this industry. Make sure you read all the fine print to understand the process used, the length of time it may take for the gem to be completed, and how much cremains is used in the gemstone production.
Learn as much as you can about the company you choose before sending your loved one’s cremains to them.
You may be able to find a local artist to use a bit of your loved one’s cremains in a small glass pendant to be used for jewelry. They may also allow you to be involved in the process, so you can watch as the cremains are added into the liquified glass.
Of course, there may be a local company that also creates cremation gemstones. As this is a much more lengthy and intricate process, it is much less likely.
At quick glance, it seems that most online artists will create a tiny cremation urn out of a gemstone.
These pieces are not cremation gems, but they are beautiful pieces that would allow you to hold a small portion of your loved one close to your heart.
Most jewelry stores do not have the ability to grow gems out of cremains. You may visit your local jewelry store to get ideas on the cut, color, and gem style that you would prefer to have created.
Your local jeweler may also give you a recommendation for a cremation gem company to use, and can also teach you about the difference between synthetic stones compared with natural stones.
International cremation gem companies
Do your research before forming a relationship with a cremation gem company. If you are American and work with a company located in the U.S., you shouldn’t have any problems shipping the cremains to the facility. International laws regarding the shipping of cremains may vary from country to country.
Other Options for Unique Display of Cremains
Even if you choose to have a piece of cremation jewelry made out of a portion of your loved one’s cremains, you still may have some ashes left. What will you do with the remaining portion? You may choose to have several gems, glasswork, or diamonds created with the cremains. Some companies give family discounts for multiple pieces.
You may also consider having the ashes pressed into a vinyl record that can preserve the sound of your loved one singing, speaking, or playing an instrument. If you are in the habit of getting tattoos, find a local artist who will mix a bit of ash in with the ink. This technique has been gaining popularity. You could also use the cremains to have a glass piece of artwork created, such as a paperweight or another custom-made design.
Of course, many families choose to scatter their loved one’s cremains in a special spot, such as a park, field, mountaintop, or ocean. Others keep the cremains in a unique urn from a store like Foreverence and reflect on their family member’s life every time they pass by the receptacle. You can even transform ashes into natural-looking stones that you can hold in your hand and keep forever or place in nature with Parting Stone.
Finally, many families choose to inter cremains in a columbarium niche inside a mausoleum or a garden wall. This gives the family a place to go to reflect on the life of their loved one, and it also is a permanent home for the cremains. Whatever you choose in the end, know that by taking the time to make the right decision may help you to look fondly upon your loved one every time you glance upon their remains.