From Ashes to Diamonds

My weekly blog post was going to be about the taxi business in Winnipeg. However, I stopped the presses! With a civic election looming in Winnipeg, I thought it was wise to delay that story until next week.

My number one daughter, Blair, came upon a blog about something I’ve known about for sometime. I think that this is an innovative idea and should be shared. Here’s why:

  • I am a Graduate Gemologist by profession, and as such, have become well aware of the process to manufacture Diamonds using heat and pressure.
  • This process has been used for years to manufacture idiamonds for use in industry and electronic technology. 
  • Now, a company has been created and creative in using the carbon in the remains of the cremation to manufacture a gem quality diamond, as a keepsake.  Here is the copy (originally posted on of the original blog explaining the process and associated costs of a different way to remember your loved ones:

Algordanza, a Swiss company, has taken a fascinating and unexpected approach to memorializing our loved ones who have passed; They will compress and super-heat your loved one’s cremated ashes and turn them into a man-made diamond that can be worn and cherished.

It all begins with a chemical process that extracts the carbon from the departed’s ashes. This carbon is then heated to convert it into graphite. That graphite is then heated to as many as 2,700 degrees Fehrenheit and subjected to forces as high as 870,000 pounds per square inch. The color of the finished diamond, which can range from white to dark blue, depends on the boron content of the ashes of the deceased. The prices begin at 4,259 Swiss Francs ($4,474 USD) for a small diamond with no additional service.

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This blog is dedicated to all those who have been hurt or affected by the lifestyle that I lived for about 20 years.

In the mid 80’s I became extremely successful in the Jewelry industry. As a Graduate Gemologist in Winnipeg,  I introduced the first computer generated jewelry appraisal.  That was a first for North America and before computers became popular in the home or office.

The service quickly spread throughout the retail jewelry industry in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and North West Ontario.  In those days scheduled jewelry for insurance purposes required an appraisal and with a portable gem lab and computer I was the only appraiser that could appraise jewelry while you watched. I would tour the 3 provinces as the appraiser for 200 jewelry stores.

Working 16 hours a day in the late 1980’s I quickly accumulated wealth in excess of $1000 per day, ever day. This sudden success and the pressures of raising a young family caused the tragic results that I will write about in the next blog. Don’t miss a story that very few have lived to tell.

My ex-wife and 1st born daughter

1985: My ex-wife and 1st born daughter