From ashes to ashes to diamonds: A way to treasure the dead

Each year, the remains of between 800 and 900 people enter the facility. About three months later, they exit as diamonds, to be kept in a box or turned into jewelry.

Most of the stones come out blue, Willy says, because contains trace amounts of boron, an element that bone formation. Occasionally, though, a diamond pops out white, yellow or close to black – Willy’s not sure why. Regardless, he says, “every diamond from each person is slightly different. It’s always a unique diamond.”

Most of the orders Algordanza receives come from relatives of the recently deceased, though some people make arrangements for themselves to become diamonds once they’ve died. Willy says about 25 percent of his customers are from Japan.