Nothing prepares us for Life after the loss of a loved one. We have all these precious memories of them that we hold dear, the priceless physical connection we shared and above all, the worry about giving our loved one a befitting burial that celebrates the kind of life that they lived.
One of the increasingly popular current burial trends in the USA is cremation diamonds, a practice that has been technologically modified over the years to reform the already existing traditional trends while addressing the problems affecting the burial industry at large.
From ashes to diamonds: How cremation diamonds are born.
Over 41% Americans use cremation, a practice of incinerating a corpse to ashes as a form of burial. Washington has the highest cremation rate of 76.4%, Nevada 75.6% and Oregon 74.3%, the lowest rates are in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana with a cremation rate of less than 30% in 2015.
Cremation other than cemetery burial is increasingly popular in the West Coast and North West USA due to the rising cost of burials, overcrowded graveyards, personal considerations and the increased value attached. The average cost of a cemetery funeral in the USA is between $8000 to $10,000 from only $706 in 1960, while according to the Cremations Association of North America, a cremation ceremony starts at roughly $1,400.
Renowned cremation diamond vendors like Lonité with an existing branch in Buffalo, New York state, USA use their state of the art Swiss equipment to determine whether the hair or cremated ashes contain enough carbon to be turned into a diamond and about 200g of ashes or 10g of hair are required. The ashes are then subjected to immense heat and pressure, a process that imitates the formation of a natural diamond within the earth’s mantle, only within a shorter period of time. This process results in rough crystals that are cut and polished into cremation diamonds.
Existing Post Burial Trends in the USA besides Cremation Diamonds
76 million Americans are expected to be at least 60 years old and older by 2020 which makes it a region with one of the world’s oldest population with approximately 2.4 million deaths every year.
The death industry in the USA is largely controlled by a few publicly traded large companies and thousands of other modest companies often passed on to generations within a given family. It is valued at $20.7 Billion with over 19,500 funeral homes, 1,155 crematoria and 300 casket sellers. The Mexican capital for example, has 119 cemeteries with 71,000 gravesites available, a cremation rate of 50.2% versus a 43.5% burial rate and a death rate of about 30,000 people per year.
The foundation for this industry was in embalming, a practice that included treating a corpse with preservatives in order to prevent decomposition which started in the Civil War and became more popular with the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Today, a traditional American burial refers to presenting an embalmed body for public viewing before burial.
The existing post burial trends in the USA except cremation diamonds include;
The need for personalization: With the increasing number of post burial alternatives available in the industry, people tend to choose unique options that celebrate the kind of life their lost loved ones lived. For example a rich oral history tradition in Mexico brings the departed back to life, ensuring that future generations know the personalities, interests and essence of those who passed before them.
Advance funeral planning: This refers to prior planning for a post-burial option that meets your emotional and financial needs and wishes thus relieving your family from the burden of second guessing after your death. Your favorite things like movies and hobbies can be incorporated into your burial plan and it is also possible to prepay. Funerals in Brazil are rarely held at home but at a “velórios,” a public or private building used to mourn the dead. Most municipalities in Brazil have the service and prices range from BRL 25,000 to BRL 40,000.
Cremation: Most states have resorted to cremation as a remedy to the crowded cemetery spaces and the increased prices of the few existing ones. For example, San Isidro cemetery in Mexico City, borough of Azcapotzalco, reached full capacity in 2014 and people had to exhume the bodies to create more space. As a result of the increasing demand, 30% funeral homes own their own crematoria and 9.4% intend to open one in the next 5 years.
Technology: The internet is the number one source of information today and as a result, most businesses have increased online presence to appeal to their audiences like for example Wal-Mart that sells caskets online and ships them to funeral homes at a discount 2/3 that of the store retail prices. People also set up memorial websites, videos, and photos, live streaming the funeral to accommodate far away relatives.
Virtual legacy: This includes a social media will that gives password and identity information with instructions on what to do with one’s account after death. Facebook for example can memorialize an account if a request is placed.
Green burials: These include eco-friendly options that protect the existing natural resources like alkaline hydrolysis, a chemical process that uses water and potassium hydroxide alkali solution to heat the remains, and what is left is fragments of bones. When purified and dried, these tiny particles are the same as traditionally cremated ashes. In the US, enough embalming fluid is buried annually to fill 8 Olympic size pools which is toxic to our underground waters.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Cremation Diamond
The color of the cremation diamond. The Naturally amber color of cremation diamonds comes from the life element Nitrogen that makes up 3% of the human body whereas the color blue comes from the boron content. Purely Colorless diamonds are created by removing nitrogen and boron from the carbon prior to making a cremation diamond from the ashes.
Carat, cut and size of the cremation diamond. Diamonds are measured in carat (ct). One carat equals to 0.2 g (200 mg; 0.007055 oz) thus sizes of the memorial diamonds range from 0.25ct to 1.00ct. This affects the price of the finished diamond and the period it takes to be formed. It is also possible to choose to have a diamond unpolished and darker with a natural feel or opt for a polished one with a cut of your preference i.e. Princess, Radiant, Asscher, Emerald, Heart and Brilliant, Brilliant being the most popular cut style in the United-States.
Grading and certification. Cremation Diamonds manufacturers deliver the memorial diamond with both a certification of origin and a process analysis report documenting and proving scientifically that the memorial diamond originates from the ashes of the departed loved-one. The production records, laboratory data, chemical analysis and physical factors can be re-verified and validated by any independent certification and quality control institute like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
There is no limit to our creativity or the lengths we can go just to celebrate the unique persona of our lost loved one. Cremation diamonds are a means to physical continuity and the best way to preserve the legacy of our loved-ones after they have passed away.