Memorial Diamonds out of Cremains - anyone do this? Need Info.

For educational purposes only. Questions and information about Laboratory-Grown Diamonds. At this time this includes the following authentic manufacturers : AOTC, Apollo, Chatham, Gemesis, New Age Diamonds, Sumitomo Electric, lljin, Tairus Created Gems. No discussion of simulants (CZ, Moissanite, YAG, etc).  If you have any questions email the admin.




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Post by YourGemologist » June 12th, 2008, 6:35 am

Hi Lisa,

At this point I have seen no further evidence that would lead me to believe any of LifeGem’s claims.

They have been unable to prove they actually own the 20 diamond presses they claim.

They have been unable to show any proof that they actually produce a synthetic diamond from the traditional cremation ashes of a deceased person.

There is certainly no legal requirement that Rusty or LifeGem provide any of this information to me or anyone else as individuals. However, as a licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Adjuster I will say that questions were previously raised regarding LifeGem claims when I worked with USAA Claims division. And it is on that basis that I have been searching for answers on LifeGem.

Therefore, at this point the only two actions available are:

#1. Inform consumers that LifeGem has been unable or unwilling to provide any evidence that any of their claims are true.

#2. Send a letter to the Illinois Attorney General’s office, as well as other State and Federal offices, requesting that they investigate the claims of LifeGem.

It is my intent to follow through with both of these actions.

Robert


Post by Alexei Zarakhani » June 12th, 2008, 6:53 am
Date: 6/12/2008 12:13:03 AM
Author: jsm


I have a question regarding pink diamonds - Mr. Zarakhani mentioned that pink diamonds are created using irradiation. Is this the case with all pink diamonds? There is a website that sells lab grown pink diamonds, and they state that they are treated after HPHT. Does this mean they are irradiated as well?






Hi JSM,

I don't think that this forum on "memorial diamonds" is suitable for general discussions on synthetic diamonds, or, I stand corrected,lab-grown diamonds, processes involved, pricing, markets, consumer acceptance, etc. as well as stereotypes surrounding them. Starting this forum was a great step forward for PS administration.

However, for the sake of educating audience I'll answer: if those are, indeed, treated lab grown diamonds then they were treated by irradiation (bombarding diamond with electrons) and subsequent annealing (heating). Please note that irradiation is not a radiation. A irradiation-treated diamond is not radioactive.
This is not the case for all diamonds. For example, natural diamonds of a quite rare type IIa can be treated for pink color by HPHT process. It has nothing to do with HPHT synthesis, though, except for high pressure and high temperature.
Alexei

AOTC /
aotc.com

Post by Alexei Zarakhani » June 12th, 2008, 7:01 am
Date: 6/12/2008 6:44:04 AM
Author: Paul-Antwerp
Date: 6/11/2008 5:34:50 PM

Author: DiaGem


Date: 6/11/2008 5:17:32 PM

Author: Clark McEwen




No problem!


My answer was pertaining to determining the source of the carbon not the source of the crystal. With the proper equipment all labs can look at the crystal structure or growth patterns in a diamond and identify it''s origin. Lab-grown diamonds have very regular and consistent growth while mined diamonds are irregular and inconsistent. Having said that, todays technology can only identify todays technology so as crystal growth technology advances so will the need for new identification equipment.


Thanks for explaining...


Is it possible for you to post an image that shows the difference between the structures of Lab-grown vs. Natural?


Hi DG,


I think that you are asking for too much here in too simple a way.


Consider this: one of the aims of a producer (grower) of MMD (man-made-diamonds) is for them to resemble the natural product as closely as possible. I think that there are few consumers waiting for aquamarine-coloured diamonds, no?


The differences between grown and natural is mostly detectible at the lab-level, and very difficult to impossible in a simple image. There are probably several factors, which a lab can check, to find an indication of either lab-grown or natural origin. Most of the times, not all those factors will show. I fear that Clark could very well show you such images, but with a lot of caveats attached of how not to interpret them.


Live long,



Again, as my previous post, this question do not belong to that thread. I can provide images and enter into detailed discussions on this topic - there is not much secrets, btw - but not here.
Alexei

AOTC /
aotc.com

Post by lisa1.01fvs1 » June 12th, 2008, 7:34 am
Date: 6/12/2008 12:35:37 PM
Author: YourGemologist


Hi Lisa,

At this point I have seen no further evidence that would lead me to believe any of LifeGem’s claims.

They have been unable to prove they actually own the 20 diamond presses they claim.

They have been unable to show any proof that they actually produce a synthetic diamond from the traditional cremation ashes of a deceased person.

There is certainly no legal requirement that Rusty or LifeGem provide any of this information to me or anyone else as individuals. However, as a licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Adjuster I will say that questions were previously raised regarding LifeGem claims when I worked with USAA Claims division. And it is on that basis that I have been searching for answers on LifeGem.

Therefore, at this point the only two actions available are:

#1. Inform consumers that LifeGem has been unable or unwilling to provide any evidence that any of their claims are true.

#2. Send a letter to the Illinois Attorney General’s office, as well as other State and Federal offices, requesting that they investigate the claims of LifeGem.

It is my intent to follow through with both of these actions.

Robert

Thank you Robert!

I am relieved that someone is going to follow-up and knows what they are doing.

What about all the other co's claiming to create the same product?  This could be an important investigation with far-reaching results.

Alexei - I agree that the "memorial" component of this discussion is the focus on this thread but I think we have come to some sort of conclusion/crossroads
about the original questions.  Thank you for your input - it has been wonderful and I think we should start a new thread to discuss MMD in detail if allowed or not already begun (Strmrdr's/DenverAppraiser's thread)?

It seems that many PSers are very curious about MMD and "in the spirit of education" we should proceed.

Perhaps someone out there will be able to actually do what LifeGem purports but can back up the science with facts and a transparent model.

Lisa

Post by EEFranklin » June 12th, 2008, 9:24 am
Date: 6/12/2008 1:34:37 PM
Author: lisa1.01fvs1

I think we should start a new thread to discuss MMD in detail if allowed or not already begun (Strmrdr''s/DenverAppraiser''s thread)?

It seems that many PSers are very curious about MMD and ''in the spirit of education'' we should proceed.


Lisa,

Neil started a new thread here with Andrey''s approval.

Eric E. Franklin
CEO
D.NEA  Diamonds

Post by Wink » June 12th, 2008, 9:34 am
Date: 6/12/2008 11:01:32 AM
Author: Clark McEwen


I bet a body language expert would have a ball with this picture. They all look severly put upon.Image


Takikng a good group photo can be so difficult.


Thank you for the volume of information!


Wink


Hi Wink,

As usual there is a story behind every picture...

In 2003 Wired magazine did an article on Gemesis and it included a picture (which I am attaching) of the founder, the employees, a few dozen machines and a very large open warehouse. The facility basically look that way until 2005 at which time we felt that we had a commercially viable process and we started to expand. In 2007 we tried to replicate the original shot with the founder, a few more employees and a bunch more machines. The stance and the facial expressions in the new pic are simply emulating those of the old pic. As you can see we have come a very long way in a matter of 3 years!!

Cheers,
Clark
Image

Wow!  Now that is SOME growth.  Congratulations.

This says MOUNTAINS about the demand for your product.

Wink

Post by rusty » June 12th, 2008, 4:39 pm

Dear Lisa and Fellow Forum Members,

Here are the answers to the four basic questions.

The LifeGem lab created diamond production capability is the result of one or more joint ventures and or strategic alliances formed to undertake the task of capturing carbon from cremated remains and or a lock of hair, purifying and graphitizing the carbon and using that graphite to grow a lab created diamond.  


fficeImageffice" /> 


The LifeGem diamond production is the result of partnerships that contribute capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, intellectual property and trade secrets.  Our joint ventures and strategic alliances are governed also by non-disclosure agreements to protect information that is non-public business information.    


 


Some of the trade secrets of the LifeGem product, process and production are not generally known and are not reasonably ascertainable by the public and we can maintain an economic advantage over the competition by keeping the information a trade secret.  We maintain a reasonable effort to keep certain aspects and locations of our business secret in order to comply with our non-disclosure agreements and or to maintain trade secrets for a competitive advantage. 


 


That being said:  LifeGem has several strategic alliances and joint ventures that provide legitimate lab created diamond production.  It is our goal in the future to make more information available and to someday structure the lab/s so we can make LifeGem a destination.


 


How much carbon comes from an 8 ounce cup of the cremated remains?


 


The amount of carbon that comes from the cremated remains varies.  The type of cremation equipment and the temperature of that equipment will cause variations of carbon content.  Some states have temperature requirements that cause the remains to have different carbon content than retorts from other areas.  This also holds true with respect to cremations from other countries.


 


Some of the organic material that is converted into carbon during a cremation is protected from the oxygen rich environment by the surrounding ash thereby preserving elemental carbon during a standard cremation. Generally the amount of available carbon in cremated remains can vary from 1% up to 10%


 


The cremated remains are then processed into a powder.  An 8 ounce cup of cremated remains by volume can differ from one location to another by over100 grams as a result of some operators processing the remains into a very fine powder and others leaving the remains in a larger particle size.  The weight of an 8 oz cup can vary from 250 to 370 grams.


 


How much of the carbon is used in each diamond?


The amount of the captured carbon used to produce a LifeGem lab created diamond also varies on the quality of the carbon captured and the amount of other trace elements. Each set of remains is unique and how the carbon is synthesized is treated on a case by case basis. In some cases we do use lab carbon to bond to the carbon present in cremated



How much of the carbon is used in each diamond?


The amount of the captured carbon used to produce a LifeGem lab created diamond also varies on the quality of the carbon captured and the amount of other trace elements. Each set of remains is unique and how the carbon is synthesized is treated on a case by case basis. In some cases we do use lab carbon to bond to the carbon present in cremated remains. This is disclosed to our clients, and published in our ffice:smarttags" />U.S. patent. The proportions required to produce a gem quality lab created diamond are considered trade secrets.


 


How do you know the carbon from your loved one is in the diamond?


 


The LifeGem process is very meticulous and well documented.  We keep a detailed journal of each client order from start to finish.  We allow our clients online tracking much like Fed Ex to monitor the progress of their order.  Each client is assigned a tracking identification number that follows the client order every step of the way.  That tracking id is laser etched onto the diamond when it is certified.      


 


We are currently experimenting with chemical markers and trace element analysis in order to further verify and identify each client order.  


 


In summary our process and audit trail verifies that we do what we say we do.  We have kept every record of every step of every order from day one.


 


Our proof and detailed documentation makes it impossible to deduce otherwise. 


 


Any Federal, State or Local authority will find that we are a reputable company that does what we say we do.  

.   


 


Rusty VandenBiesen
Founder LifeGem

Post by rusty » June 12th, 2008, 5:02 pm

April 30th, 2008


fficeImageffice" /> 


 


Via Federal Express


Mr. Robert James


ffice:smarttags" />International School of Gemology


11118 Wurzbach Rd, Suite 204


San Antonio, TX 78230


 


Dear Mr. James:


 


This letter responds to your recent broadcast e-mail, a copy of which is attached, in which you discuss LifeGem’s services and patent applications.  We are writing to advise you of certain facts stated in your e-mail that are not true. LifeGem is a reputable company that advertises and sells its patented services accurately and fairly and will take whatever legal measures are necessary to protect its reputation. 


 







Statement



Response





“the LifeGem(R) folks don''t say they use HPHT. They say they use "sublimation" which is a cool term for CVD.”



Your e-mails themselves recognize that this statement is not true.  You state that you had a conversation with “Dean VandenBiesen. He informed me that LifeGem(R) uses the HPHT process of diamond synthesis.”  We note that “HPHT” means “high pressure, high temperature.”


 


Also, the Lifegem patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,255,743 (your were quoting from LifeGem patent applications, one of which has issued as a patent), refers to the use of the HPHT process described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,042,673 as a method contemplated for making diamonds. See col. 1, lines 23-27 and col. 6, lines 25-31 of U.S. Patent No. 7,255,743.  U.S. Pat. No. 4,042,673 indicates that it is owned by General Electric Company, a well-known maker of diamonds by the HPHT technique.




“They claim to be able to make a HUGE number of diamonds from each of your dear departed''s:


*"Our process is so streamlined, we are able to create over 100 certified,
high-quality LifeGem diamonds as memorials for each family if they so
choose."”



LifeGem can make over 100 diamonds from the carbon originally present in the remains of a loved one, although they don’t claim to be able to make over 100 diamonds from an eight-ounce sample of conventional cremation ashes.  This statement about what Lifegem supposedly claims is thus not true.




“Now, the LifeGem folks claim that they use "any standard cremated remains" and "*or a small portion of the remains from any standard cremation."* in their brochure.
But in their patent application they say this won''t work because:
[0043] "*Since conventional cremation eliminates most of the native carbon,…."* ”



The cited part of the LifeGem patent application does not say that collection of carbon from conventional cremated remains “won’t work.”  It says that conventional cremation eliminates “most of the native carbon.”  The specification of the patent also discloses how to recover the relatively small amount of carbon remaining in conventionally cremated remains.  See col. 5, line 65, to col. 6, line 9 of the patent.  This statement about what Lifegem supposedly claims is thus not true.


 







“*"The preferred process for collection begins with the oven operator positioning the body in the oven so that the head and chest area are not positioned directly underneath the main burner. This can be accomplished by
positioning the body to the left or right side of the main burner, or
positioning the body so that the legs and feet are underneath the main burner rather than the head and torso. Positioning the body in this manner assures that carbon will remain in the body''s head area. The carbon can then be gathered by hand, or by using a metal shovel or scoop, or the like." *
* * ”



The patent identifies many ways of obtaining the carbon of a loved one.  One of those ways is by modifying cremation conditions.  LifeGem does not use this method, however.


 


Through additional development, LifeGem has discovered and patented a process for obtaining carbon of a loved one from conventionally cremated remains.  This improvement allows those who want to obtain a LifeGem to make that decision days, months, or even years after their loved one has passed away and been cremated conventionally.


 


Thus, any statement stating or implying that Lifegem’s patent or process requires modification of cremation conditions, or doesn’t work with conventionally cremated remains, is not true.


 




“the actual process that they claim to use is sublimation, or Chemical Vapor Deposition.”



As indicated above, your e-mail recognizes that this statement is not true.  LifeGem does not claim to use a sublimation or Chemical Vapor Deposition process to make diamonds.


 




“So LifeGem(R) is claiming to use sublimation deposition”



As indicated above, your e-mail recognizes that this statement is not true.  LifeGem does not claim to use a sublimation deposition process to make diamonds.


 


 







“ I just have not found anyone who has compared their website and brochure claims, to their US Patent Applications.  Because the two entities just do not match up.”



This statement is not true, since LifeGem uses the HPHT process to make diamonds, refers to that process on its web site, and identifies that process as a useful method in its patent applications and patent (as by citing the General Electric patent mentioned above). 




“ After a great deal more research into these US Patent applications I
realized that the use of the term "sublimation" was *not* a misnomer to refer to the CVD synthesis process. Instead, LifeGem(R)  in fact applied
for US Patents for a process claiming to make synthetic diamonds using
the *sublimation method* of gemstone synthesis.”



This is not the process LifeGem patented.  LifeGem’s patent does not limit itself to any particular method of diamond synthesis, and describes the HPHT process (as explained above).  Thus, this statement is not true.




“ *[0037] In the preferred embodiment, the process of crystal growth from sublimation is used according to techniques of the type described but not limited to the process described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 34,061, 6,200,917, 6,025,289, 6,045,613, 4,042,673 and 5,762,896. **US* *Patent Application # 20040031434*”



The process of “U.S. Pat. No. … 4,042,673” quoted here is an HPHT process. 


 


Thus, any statement stating or implying that Lifegem’s patent or process requires crystal growth from sublimation is not true.


 


 







“LifeGem(R) is indeed claiming to be using the *sublimation *technique”



This is not true.  LifeGem’s patent and advertising claims are not limited to any particular method of diamond synthesis, and describe the HPHT process (as explained above).


 


Thus, any statement stating or implying that Lifegem claims to be using a sublimation technique is not true.


 




“their true and formal *US Patented technology* cannot make a synthetic diamond.”



This is not true, since LifeGem uses HPHT technology, which can be, and is, used to make a synthetic diamond.




“In fact, the one method of obtaining carbon from traditional cremation ashes listed on their website, is listed as not viable in their US Patent applications!*”



This is not true, as explained above.




“And their patent does not truly reflect a diamond making process by their own admission.”



This is not true, as explained above.


 


LifeGem notes that you can avoid many such errors in the future by recognizing that a published patent application or patent commonly describes several different ways of carrying out the invention, and does not guarantee which of them, or even that any one of them, is actually in commercial use at any given time.


 


Finally, you should be aware that you are violating both Federal and state laws, as well as Lifegem’s rights, by making false statements that disparage Lifegem in advertising or other commercial communications to third parties.  For example, Title 15 United States Code § 1125(a) (1) specifies in relevant part::


 


Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which—


             * * *


             (B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities,


shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.


 


 


Lifegem is watching out, both to identify the harm caused by your current e-mail and to make sure no further false statements are made about Lifegem or its products and services in e-mail or other contexts.  You will be well-advised to check your facts before writing about Lifegem in the future.


 


Very Truly Yours,

George Wheeler
McANDREW Held & Melow Ltd.



I am ending my participation in this thread with this post. 

Rusty VandenBiesen
Founder LifeGem

Post by megus » June 12th, 2008, 7:52 pm
Well Dang!

I see we brought out the lawyers now.

I don''t know about anyone else, but when I see this kind of thing happen it screams, "I''ve got something to hide and I''m not going to talk to you any more".

Rusty, I hope you will look at the different ways that the three processors of Lab Grown diamonds have responded here.

Two of which I would be more than happy to deal with and one I wouldn''t trust with a 10 foot pole.

Which one do you think you fall into?

And I don''t know about anyone else, but it seems like the gauntlet has been set and now it''s time to see who can run through it and come up with the actual facts.

Right now, my money is on Robert.

MEgus

Post by denverappraiser » June 13th, 2008, 4:52 am
Date: 6/12/2008 11:02:42 PM
Author: rusty

I am ending my participation in this thread with this post.



Rusty,

Thank you for answering a few of the questions of one of the participants here. Also thank you also for letting us know that you don’t intend to participate in a conversation, there may still be a few people for whom that wasn’t obvious. It’s always nice to know a company’s approach to customer concerns and potential customers or prospective resellers who are still considering working with you and who have questions about your products or services can always address them to your attorney.

Thank you for your time, it’s been enlightening.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
Neil Beaty GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser
www.americangemregistry.com

Post by purrfectpear » June 13th, 2008, 10:40 am
Well, we did get an answer to one of the questions, though they danced around it without saying it directly.

They don''t own any presses, period.
"joint ventures and or strategic alliances"

"result of partnerships that contribute capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, intellectual property and trade secrets"
They don''t even have all the knowledge or expertise.

They''re just a couple of brothers who came up with a slick marketing ploy to capitalize on grief stricken widows and widowers. Throw in a little cash, a few attorneys, and "voila, instant business". Not so different from any other company that subcontracts out all the work, just that LifeGem''s business has a bigger "Ewwwwww" factor, and they''re quite dodgy about their marketing claims. Image
"Truth is generally the best vindication against slander - unless it's always being censored"

Post by Love Street » June 13th, 2008, 11:39 am
Date: 6/12/2008 11:02:42 PM
Author: rusty

 






Very Truly Yours,

George Wheeler
McANDREW Held & Melow Ltd.


For those of you that are interested in posing additional questions to LifeGem''s attorneys.... the firm name is actually McAndrews Held & Malloy, Ltd. ... Image

But this thread has been fascinating.

Post by Linda W » June 13th, 2008, 11:40 am
If this is all true, my heart truly aches, for all of the people that purchased from them.



Linda
********************************

"Life is what happens to you, while you are busy making other plans". John Lennon


Post by YourGemologist » June 13th, 2008, 1:54 pm
The LifeGem diamond production is the result of partnerships that contribute capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, intellectual property and trade secrets.
===================================================================


Rusty,

So you are admitting that you do not actually own any diamond making presses as your advertisements claim, making that part of your advertisements false and misleading. We call that a deceptive trade practice. Your attorney will explain that to you. As well may the Illinois Attorneys General office.

What this means is that LifeGem does not have control over your production process.

Which means that consumers have no positive track of their loved one's ashes.....other than your system that is hidden behind a veil of trade secrets.

Which means that consumers have no assurance that their loved one's ashes are even part of the mix of the synthetic diamond....because you do not control the diamond production process, and you hide the entire process behind the veil of trade secrets.

In short, you cannot prove any of your advertisement claims. In fact, you have just admitted that they are false!

That pretty well makes the rest of the discussion moot.  And is exactly what I have known for a long time, I just needed you to admit it in public so the public could see the man behind the curtain....and so I could provide that information to the insurance industry.

Interesting that Gemesis who has far more trade secrets to protect than LifeGem, posts up pictures and invites me to come tour their plant.

LifeGem, admits that their advertising claims are false and then hides the rest of the answers behind the veil of "trade secrets".

I will let consumers make their own decisions on the rest of it.  I have a letter to write to the Illinois Attorneys General office.

Robert

Post by Imdanny » June 13th, 2008, 9:16 pm
Good for you, Robert! Image

Post by Rhea » June 14th, 2008, 12:16 am
Date: 6/13/2008 5:39:37 PM
Author: Love Street
Date: 6/12/2008 11:02:42 PM

Author: rusty












Very Truly Yours,


George Wheeler

McANDREW Held & Melow Ltd.



For those of you that are interested in posing additional questions to LifeGem''s attorneys.... the firm name is actually McAndrews Held & Malloy, Ltd. ... Image


But this thread has been fascinating.



I shouldn''t laugh, but this is great. Nothing like butchering the name of your own attorneys Image

Post by YourGemologist » June 17th, 2008, 6:05 am

This alert was just sent out to the insurance industry. Since this thread is responsible for finally providing some answers to the questions, I thought I would share this with you all. Rj
========================================================================


Insurance Industry Alert: LifeGem®!
 
LifeGem Founder Rusty VendenBiesen responds to consumer questions!
 
After several months of investigations, the Jewelry Adjuster division of the International School of Gemology has obtained important information direct from LifeGem® regarding their claims to make synthetic diamonds out of the traditional cremated remains of loved one’s. We believe that all insurance representatives should be aware of the following information.
 
It should be noted that the information contained is based on direct quotes from LifeGem® founder Rusty VendenBiesen in response to consumer questions.  And we believe the remarkable contradictions being made by LifeGems is of significant merit to warrant further investigation by the insurance industry.
 
There are four main issues regarding LifeGem® and their claims. We will simply post up the questions, LifeGem’s advertising and promotional claims, and direct responses that were made by Rusty VandenBiesen, Founder of LifeGem, on a Pricescope.com discussion thread. These statements were in direct response to consumer questions about LifeGem. http://www.pricescope.com/forum/laboratory-grown-diamonds-man-made-diamonds-mmd/memorial-diamonds-out-of-cremains-anyone-do-this-need-info-t87521.html
 
These statements will be directly quoted, as well as the LifeGem advertising claims, for your review and consideration.
==============================================================


Question: Where are the diamond presses you claim to own and operate?
 
LifeGem Promotional Brochure: “To create your LifeGem®, we now place this graphite in one of our unique diamond presses…” “At the LifeGem state of the art diamond facility, we pride ourselves on creating the highest quality diamonds possible”
 
LifeGem Promotional Video showing a row of diamond presses: “Here is one row of twenty LifeGem diamond presses…” “Other than being created in our lab, LifeGem diamonds are molecularly identical to naturally occurring diamonds.” “While we can monitor the process by computer….” http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/LGProcess2006.aspx 
 
Rusty VandenBiesen Founder LifeGem: “The LifeGem diamond production is the result of partnerships that contribute capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, intellectual property and trade secrets.”
 
 Gemological Conclusion: LifeGem does not directly own or operate any in-house diamond presses, and they do not have a diamond synthesis lab on site, as they claim in their advertising materials.
=============================================================


 


Question: Out of an 8 ounce cup of traditional cremation ashes, how much actual graphite do you produce?
 
LifeGem Promotional Brochure: “Our advanced and delicate procedure has been specifically designed to capture almost all of the available carbon in an 8 ounce (or less) portion of cremated remains…”
 
Rusty VandenBiesen Founder LifeGem: “The amount of carbon that comes from the cremated remains varies.”
 
Gemological Question: If LifeGem does not know how much carbon to expect, how can they claim that consumers can choose the size, shape and color of diamond they want? (http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/LGPrices2006.aspx)
====================================================================
Question: Of 100% of the carbon contained in your claimed product, what is the average percentage of carbon from a loved one’s ashes?
 
 LifeGem Promotional Material: “Choose from carat sizes ranging from .25ct to over 1.5ct.”
 
Rusty VandenBiesen Founder LifeGem: “Each set of remains is unique and how the carbon is synthesized is treated on a case by case basis. In some cases we do use lab carbon to bond to the carbon present in cremated remains.”
 
Gemological Conclusion: Reading the LifeGem brochures, a reasonable person would expect that all of the LifeGem is made from the loved one’s ashes. But this is not true at all. In fact, LifeGem has no ability to know how much carbon may or may not be gathered, even while telling consumers that they can choose any size diamond they wish. So it is possible that a LifeGem contains no carbon at all from the customer’s loved one.
 
=============================================================


Question: How can you prove to consumers that you actually use the ashes of their loved one’s in your claimed synthetic diamonds?
 
LifeGem Promotional Material: “With the closeness offered only by a LifeGem®, you will have your loved one with you and in your life at all times”.  “Each LifeGem®, created from the carbon in a lock of hair, symbolizes your precious and personal bond with another.”
 
Rusty VandenBiesen Founder LifeGem: “The LifeGem process is very meticulous and well documented.  We keep a detailed journal of each client order from start to finish.”
 
Gemological Conclusion: LifeGem has offered no verifiable proof that they actually use any carbon from consumer ashes in their product. Just unsubstantiated claims of a book keeping system.
 ==============================================================
 
Based on the statements made by LifeGem® Founder Rusty VandenBiesen to consumers of Pricescope.com, we believe the following issues should be raised regarding any insurance policy that covers the LifeGem® product:


 
LifeGem claims to be able to allow customers to choose any size or color of synthetic diamond to be made from their loved one’s traditional cremated ashes.
 
And yet LifeGem admits that they do not have the ability to actually deliver this claimed product. And information posted from the founders of two famous lab-created diamond producers confirm that no diamond synthesis process can guarantee in advance what size, shape or color of synthetic diamond can be produced at any one time. http://www.pricescope.com/forum/laboratory-grown-diamonds-man-made-diamonds-mmd/memorial-diamonds-out-of-cremains-anyone-do-this-need-info-t87521-120.html
 
And yet LifeGem offers consumers a chart to pick and choose which size, shape and color of LifeGem they wish to order from their loved one’s ashes.
(http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/LGPrices2006.aspx)


 


And given the exceptionally high prices that LifeGem charges for a product they have not actually proved is delivered, we believe that all insurance agents and underwriters should be aware that extreme inconsistencies exist between the claimed product and what the LifeGem founder, Rusty VandenBiesen, admits is possible to deliver.
 
We urge caution by all property underwriters as LifeGem to date cannot prove any of their claims.
 
Perhaps the most revealing statement was made to me personally in a phone conversation with Rusty VandenBiesen in response to my question, as a Texas P&C Insurance Adjuster, regarding what would happen in the event that a LifeGem was damaged or lost.
 
His response: “Oh we can make as many as you need. We keep the ashes on file here in the office”.
 
That was my first indication that a problem existed with the claims being made by LifeGem.
 
We urge all insurance agents and representatives to make this information available to your home offices, agents, underwriters, and adjusters.
 
Until LifeGem can clarify the contradictions of their product, we also urge consumers to exercise caution regarding LifeGem® promotional advertising. 
 
 Robert James FGA, GG


 Fellow, Gemmological Association of Great Britain
 Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
 Property and Casualty Adjuster, Texas Department of Insurance #1300433
 Certified Continuing Education Provider, Texas Department of Insurance #3391
 
 


Post by megus » June 17th, 2008, 11:10 am
OK, I maybe reading between the lines here. And I could be wrong on this, but from what I know about the industry and from what I read and the claims that Lifegem makes, this is what I would bet is happening.

Lifegem is purchasing laboratory grown gems from another manufacturer in the color and size the client requests and just reselling them to the client at very high prices and telling them they are made from their remains. Or at least that is how it would appear. Since they can produce hundreds of the same color and size and shape as the client asks for. Something we see is not possible.

Now, just maybe they are putting in the ashes into the mix, but when it goes through the "purifying process", they are all removed as there is no carbon left in them to process. And then normal lab carbon is used to grow a diamond.

Well, I would like to be wrong, but somehow feel that with the explanations given that this really has to be the case. Looks more and more like a "Snake Oil" sales job than anything else.

MEgus

Post by Linda W » June 17th, 2008, 11:15 am
I certainly hope you will be able to shut down this horrible company.

Image


Linda
********************************

"Life is what happens to you, while you are busy making other plans". John Lennon


Post by lisa1.01fvs1 » June 17th, 2008, 3:05 pm
Hi Robert and everyone who has been following.

What about the other co''s creating "memorial diamonds?"  are any traded publicly?

Where does this fantastic letter go?

What, if any, are the next steps of the process?

Post by YourGemologist » June 18th, 2008, 4:22 am
Hi Lisa,

There are actually a few companies making this claim. One of the patent applications I read was to laser drill a hole into a diamond and insert ashes into it, and seal it back up. Image

I am preparing a report to the IL AG office now on LifeGem. We have had some additional info come in to be added to the mix. So I hope to have that filed next week.

We are out of here for our annual ISG Student Field Trip this weekend. Going to be at the corundum mines in Franklin, North Carolina in case anyone is close by and would like to join us.

But we are not going to let this go. The more info comes in the more I know that LifeGem is not doing what they claim. And given the emotional damage that this is going to do to people who have paid for this supposed product, I believe that action is required.

In fact, this was passed on to me from a Google search. Check out the video and brochure of LifeGem showing the photograph of the supposed diamond making presses that LifeGem owns in the LifeGem Diamond Lab. http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/LGProcess2006.aspx


Then, check out the photograph about a third way down this page: http://www.diamondworld.net/contentview.aspx?item=2162

Anyone see something really interesting?Image

Robert

Post by lisa1.01fvs1 » June 18th, 2008, 5:21 am

AH HA!!

So LifeGem has used photos of cubic presses from "Sundance Diamonds" as their own.

This occurs in their brochures and marketing.

Who is Sundance?

According to Rusty:

"The LifeGem lab created diamond production capability is the result of one or more joint ventures and or strategic alliances (with Sundance Diamonds) formed to undertake the task of capturing carbon from cremated remains and or a lock of hair, purifying and graphitizing the carbon and using that graphite to grow a lab created diamond.  


The LifeGem diamond production is the result of partnerships (with Sundance Diamonds) that contribute capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, intellectual property and trade secrets.  Our joint ventures and strategic alliances (with Sundance Diamonds) are governed also by non-disclosure agreements to protect information that is non-public business information.

LifeGem has several strategic alliances and joint ventures (with Sundance Diamonds) that provide legitimate lab created diamond production."

I guess he forgot to add them to his response Image

Thanks again Robert (aka gemological Ralph Nader)!


Post by strmrdr » June 18th, 2008, 5:22 am
Date: 6/18/2008 10:22:12 AM
Author: YourGemologist
Hi Lisa,


There are actually a few companies making this claim. One of the patent applications I read was to laser drill a hole into a diamond and insert ashes into it, and seal it back up. Image


I am preparing a report to the IL AG office now on LifeGem. We have had some additional info come in to be added to the mix. So I hope to have that filed next week.


We are out of here for our annual ISG Student Field Trip this weekend. Going to be at the corundum mines in Franklin, North Carolina in case anyone is close by and would like to join us.


But we are not going to let this go. The more info comes in the more I know that LifeGem is not doing what they claim. And given the emotional damage that this is going to do to people who have paid for this supposed product, I believe that action is required.


In fact, this was passed on to me from a Google search. Check out the video and brochure of LifeGem showing the photograph of the supposed diamond making presses that LifeGem owns in the LifeGem Diamond Lab. http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/LGProcess2006.aspx



Then, check out the photograph about a third way down this page: http://www.diamondworld.net/contentview.aspx?item=2162


Anyone see something really interesting?Image


Robert

Yea its the same picture or one taken in the same place from the same location.
Have you contacted them to see what they say about being associated with LifeGem?


...........
Karl has joined the diamond trade and is now posting as Karl_K

Post by Clark McEwen » June 18th, 2008, 9:04 am
Date: 6/18/2008 11:22:21 AM
Author: strmrdr
Date: 6/18/2008 10:22:12 AM

Author: YourGemologist

Hi Lisa,



There are actually a few companies making this claim. One of the patent applications I read was to laser drill a hole into a diamond and insert ashes into it, and seal it back up. Image



I am preparing a report to the IL AG office now on LifeGem. We have had some additional info come in to be added to the mix. So I hope to have that filed next week.



We are out of here for our annual ISG Student Field Trip this weekend. Going to be at the corundum mines in Franklin, North Carolina in case anyone is close by and would like to join us.



But we are not going to let this go. The more info comes in the more I know that LifeGem is not doing what they claim. And given the emotional damage that this is going to do to people who have paid for this supposed product, I believe that action is required.



In fact, this was passed on to me from a Google search. Check out the video and brochure of LifeGem showing the photograph of the supposed diamond making presses that LifeGem owns in the LifeGem Diamond Lab. http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/LGProcess2006.aspx




Then, check out the photograph about a third way down this page: http://www.diamondworld.net/contentview.aspx?item=2162



Anyone see something really interesting?Image



Robert


Yea its the same picture or one taken in the same place from the same location.

Have you contacted them to see what they say about being associated with LifeGem?






FYI..........

The presses pictured are BARS presses and not cubic presses.

Cheers,
Clark
Clark McEwen
Diamond Industry Professional

Post by YourGemologist » June 18th, 2008, 10:27 am
Good point, Clark. Based on the information we have these are BARS presses that are located in Moscow, and not the "cubic" presses of Sundance.

So there is far more going on here than we know.

Perhaps Rusty of LifeGem would care to explain how this image from Moscow became the picture of the "LifeGem Diamond Lab" in Illinois?Image

Robert


Post by Linda W » June 18th, 2008, 10:39 am
I have a question please. Will the people that purchased these "gems", be contacted at all? There has to be some way to let them know they were duped, if LifeGem is proven a fake.


Linda
********************************

"Life is what happens to you, while you are busy making other plans". John Lennon


Post by YourGemologist » June 18th, 2008, 11:35 am
Linda,

Unfortunately this is a totally unregulated industry. One of the very few in the world. So saying what will or will not happen is difficult.

Government intervention in the jewelry industry is difficult as the government guys don't know anything about gemology, and are hesitant to take much action unless it is politically good for them. We can get an investigation going, but getting action takes time and money.

The fastest way to get a resolution to this problem is for everyone here to post up this information and a link to this thread on every forums, discussion board, and related entity you all can find on the internet.

Consumer awareness is the most effective method to get action. And the more people read this forum the more people will know the truth.  But legal action is difficult for both sides.

Quite honestly, if Rusty and LifeGem try to take any legal action against me as they threatened, I will then have the ability to file Discovery Motions and find out all about them, and it will be put into public record. And I have a CPA who will become their corporate proctologist that they will not want in their office.

I think LifeGem is too smart to file anything on me, unless they are totally ready to lift their skirts. 

We will most likely have to file with the AG, national media, and rely on all of you to tell the story anywhere you can.

Robert


Post by Alexei Zarakhani » June 18th, 2008, 11:39 am
Date: 6/18/2008 4:27:38 PM
Author: YourGemologist
Good point, Clark. Based on the information we have these are BARS presses that are located in Moscow, and not the ''cubic'' presses of Sundance.


So there is far more going on here than we know.


Perhaps Rusty of LifeGem would care to explain how this image from Moscow became the picture of the ''LifeGem Diamond Lab'' in Illinois?Image


Robert




Indeed, those are BARS presses at our research facility, pictures were taken in 2003. Those presses are still there, that''s for sure.
Alexei

AOTC /
aotc.com

Post by Linda W » June 18th, 2008, 4:26 pm
Thank you so much Robert for answering my question. It really makes me sick to my stomach that these poor people are wearing these "fake" gems, thinking that they are real.


Linda
********************************

"Life is what happens to you, while you are busy making other plans". John Lennon


Post by lisa1.01fvs1 » June 18th, 2008, 6:23 pm
Date: 6/18/2008 5:39:22 PM
Author: Alexei Zarakhani


Date: 6/18/2008 4:27:38 PM
Author: YourGemologist
Good point, Clark. Based on the information we have these are BARS presses that are located in Moscow, and not the 'cubic' presses of Sundance.


So there is far more going on here than we know.


Perhaps Rusty of LifeGem would care to explain how this image from Moscow became the picture of the 'LifeGem Diamond Lab' in Illinois?Image


Robert




Indeed, those are BARS presses at our research facility, pictures were taken in 2003. Those presses are still there, that's for sure.


What?????

Alexei, can't u guys get LifGem for copyright infringement or something?

Robert, Linda - I'm thinking of contacting local media here in Los Angeles (wouldn't this make for a juicy story).  Any tips?

It's so disgusting how their DVD starts w/ news broadcasts all over the nation touting them as true groundbreakers
who are doing this service from the deep compassion in their hearts.  People of loved ones cry and tell sad sad stories about cancer
pts., children, spouses, pets.


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