http://www.sina.com.cn 2007年02月06日 18:56
Bereaved pay to turn ashes into diamonds
In Marilyn Monroe's days, diamonds were a girl's best friend. Now they are becoming the companion of the bereaved too.
A Swiss company, Algordanza, is turning human ashes into diamonds at a cost of between ?3,750 and ?15,500 (?2,470 to ?10,200), depending on the size and cut of the stone.
In Spain and Portugal, about 100 bereft relatives have turned the remains of their father, mother or spouse into gems, according to yesterday's El Mundo .
"The idea of the cemetery niche, the worms, was always horrifying to me," Ana Alonso, a widow from the Spanish town of Logro?o, told the newspaper. She has transformed her husband's ashes into two heart-shaped diamond earrings, which she plans to wear on a pilgrimage to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, a trip that the couple had hoped to make. "This way I will always have him me near me," she said.
The jewellery business was founded in 2004 and now operates in 17 countries, including France, Germany and Spain. Its website offers a detailed explanation of how the ashes become a diamond: from the chemical processes used to treat the carbon to its high-pressure, high-temperature synthesis into a stone, which may be engraved.
Carmelo Hernández of Alicante turned his mother's ashes into a bluish, half-carat diamond inscribed with her favourite Latin phrase: "Omnia mea mecum porto," or "I carry with me all my things." "Having her like this, as a precious stone, has something of a relic mystical, symbolic, eternal to it," he told El Mundo.