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domingo, 7 de agosto de 2011

Died and turned into diamond

Human people and their societies have a bunch of practices about what to do to someone’s body when this someone is dead. But, walking through the internet I found a new practice of these new and modern times and it seemed a little peculiar to me: turn people’s ashes into diamonds.

Before you think this is some high level magic, relax ‘cause it is just chemistry. Human body has a lot of carbon and it stays in the ashes when the body is cremated. In lab is possible to collect this carbon and, creating the necessary temperature and pressure conditions, is possible to construct the molecular structure to produce a diamond. Oh and this process is also possible using a lock of hair, if you want a diamond of someone who is still alive.

There are many companies all over the world offering this service, but each has their own “ethics”. To give you one example, not all the companies offer the possibility to turn ashes, or furs, from pets into diamonds. Some others don’t offer the option to change the color of the final stone. Oh, and by the way, to you who is looking for a morbid curiosity to throw over people at that child birthday you were invited in and have to go, diamonds made of humans, if don’t receive any treatment, are light blue, like that one of the image on the top.

But speaking about hair, in Setember 2007 was created the first diamond from the remains of a historical figure. It was Ludwig van Beethoven, better known as Beethoven, or Little Thov to closer friends (?!). They used some of his hair to create 3 diamonds, 1 was sold on eBay for one million dollars (the money was donated to assist underprivileged children), 1 was given to the guy who provided the hair of Little Thov and the last one went to the “chain of fame” of the company who produced the diamonds.

I think it is curious this importance given to the physical representation of what someone was more than to what this someone lived and all the influence its existence may had to everyone around. I wonder if it would be much more interesting to have some kind of book with the biography of everybody who dies. A diamond is visually impressive, but it says nothing about who that person was. If these books existed you just had to read to know what that person did, what lived and, in some sense, who that person was.

The price for this diamonds goes from 3 thousand to 30 thousand dollars based on size, purity, shape and color. So, what you say, interested?

to know more:
Wikipedia article about these kind of diamonds
The story of the diamond made from Beethoven’s hair
A video explaining the process to create these diamonds