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

Discussion in 'Laboratory-Grown Diamonds /Man-Made Diamonds (MMD)' started by lisa1.01fvs1, May 30, 2008.

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  1. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » May 30, 2008
    So I am posting in RT b/c I read clicker''''s thread here https://www.pricescope.com/forum/jewelry-pieces/dead-cat-diamond-t85908.html

    Not wanting to get into a phiosophical debate over the ethics/morality but rather the actual process, quality of diamonds, etc.

    I am actually interested in doing this but the cost is prohibitive.

    Just curious to see if anyone has info.

    I googled it and lifegem.com, and a couple other company''''s are doing it.

    (I apologize in advance if this whole topic grosses some of u out)
     
  2. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » May 30, 2008
    I don''t know about your relatives, but I know MINE. I''m sure they''d much rather I put the money towards a diamond that I choose in lieu of an overpriced stone made of their remains [​IMG]
     
  3. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » May 30, 2008
    Hi Purrfect,

    I don''t know if it is so much about my dad as it is about me.

    Call it creepy, weird, whatever (I really wanted to know more about the creation of the stones).

    I was curious if taking the carbon from hair or cremains can actually produce structurally significant diamonds.

    Jewelerman alluded to the product being billed as a diamond but not actually being scientifically the same.

    I know talking about simulants is forbotten but this somehow seems different.
     
  4. Diamond*Dana
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Diamond*Dana » May 30, 2008
    No info here, butI just wanted to say that while it may seem weird and creepy to some, it is about what you want [​IMG].
    I would think that the best thing would be for you to contact the company itself and ask them all about it.
    Good luck!
     
  5. arjunajane
    Ideal_Rock

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    by arjunajane » May 30, 2008
    Lisa, I agree to each his/her own. But I felt Orbaya made a good point in the other thread (Orbaya, i hope you don''t mind me quoting you as I thought it easier than paraphrasing).

    "What happens if you lose it? You can''t exactly get a replacement, and you would never know where your cat, spouse, etc was ever again. Is it in a sewer somewhere? Is it in the trash? I''d rather have my loved one where I know where they are and I can go visit. Not wear them. "

    Sorry Lisa, but I have to say imho its an unattractive idea for a number of reasons.


     
  6. Sharon101
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Sharon101 » Jun 1, 2008
    There would be no way to prove that your special loved one was even part of the diamond process at all. It sounds scientifically suspect to say the least.
     
  7. orbaya
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by orbaya » Jun 1, 2008
    No problem at all. [​IMG]
     
  8. Garry H (Cut Nut)
    Super_Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jun 1, 2008

    I would love someone from the company to come here and tell us they do not simply bin the ashes in waste and supply any old natural or synethetic diamond to the loved ones.


    They are opaque about it. They have no credibitlity with me.

     
  9. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
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    by denverappraiser » Jun 1, 2008
    Synthetic diamonds are a verboten topic here and since this thread may get deleted at any moment, I’m not going to take the time to write a though out answer. A google search on their name might be helpful.

    I’m with Garry, I see no evidence that they are doing what they claim and they have been less than forthcoming with any defense despite numerous and credible challenges.

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
  10. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 1, 2008
    Garry, Neil,

    I totally agree w/ u both but the question remains whether it''s a PS approved one or not.

    Is the product structurally similar and if not how does it differ considering that they are using
    carbon atoms from an organic source?

    The simulants verbotten thing shouldn''t preclude a discussion on the "real" properties of diamonds vs. "unreal."

    Garry they "say" that they track the cremains and imprint the stone to match (much like GIA, etc.).

    Anyway I didn''t get that far into it. Again, interest in the process.

    And no I don''t think people should have these made in lieu of real e-rings and WB or RHR or whatever.

    Thanks.
     
  11. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
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    by Wink » Jun 1, 2008
    I do not know this to be a fact or not, but there are some in the trade whom I have a great deal of respect for that state emphatically that there is not sufficient carbon remaining in the cremains to create a diamond from and that feel that although some of the cremains may be put into the mix that the majority of the carbon is added from other sources. Add to that the ridiculesly high prices at which these "cremains diamonds" are sold and I believe that I smell something about the whole deal.

    Wink
     
  12. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 1, 2008
    Speaking of people in the trade that I respect...
     
  13. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 1, 2008
    And another, and now that I am reminded that this may be a forbidden topic I will not post again.

    Wink
     
  14. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 1, 2008
    Thank you Wink that is exactly the kind of info. I was seeking.

    The whole thing stinks to me.

    I too would like a member of the co. to come on over and explain it!
     
  15. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 1, 2008
    I emailed this thread - hopefully we will receive a response.
     
  16. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » Jun 1, 2008
    Actually, hopefully they will not attempt to post here. The owners of the site have made it clear that there is no discussion of simulants. We''ve already stretched that.
    To encourage a simulant manufacturer to post on PS is welcoming spam. We would not encourage other sim vendors to discuss the process of their sims and I don''t see why this particular company would get a pass on PS?
     
  17. Thank you for thinking of us here at LifeGem. In order to register for this forum I had to agree not to discuss man made gemstones.

    I am not sure what to think of a forum that does not allow freedom of speech.

    We are happy to respond to any questions that anyone has. We have hosted clients, the media and pretty much anyone who sincerely would like to learn more about our product.

    I look forward to permission from the moderator to break the rules that I had to agree to in order to get to this point.

    Sincerely,

    Rusty VandenBiesen
    LifeGem Founder.
     
  18. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » Jun 3, 2008
    This forum is privately run. Starting your first post with a dig is probably not starting off on the best foot. [​IMG]
     
  19. Linda W
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Linda W » Jun 3, 2008
    For me, I would rather wear my mother''s diamond earrings, then have her be a pair. JMHO.
     
  20. psadmin
    Administrator
    Staff Member

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    by psadmin » Jun 4, 2008

    Hello Rusty,
    In the interest of education for all, please feel free to explain your process in this thread.

    Andrey

     
  21. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 4, 2008
    Thank you Andrey for allowing them to educate us.

    I hope Rusty responds.

    Lisa
     
  22. Where have you looked?
    Have you asked to come and visit?
    Have you read our patent?
    Have you called and asked to talk to me?
    The GIA Certifies some of our created diamonds has anyone called them?
    The professors at MIT asked us to come give a speech on the process maybe someone would like to give them a call?


    Sincerely,

    Rusty VandenBiesen
    LifeGem
     
  23. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 5, 2008
    Hi Rusty,

    Not the response I was hoping for.[​IMG]

    I figured u could provide some of the above mentioned information to our members.

    Obviously I do feel responsible for this post since I started it and Andrey was gracious enough
    to allow u to educate.

    Perhaps I''m wrong about the tone but you seem defensive.

    Anyway, no need to bother u further here on PS.

    PS members I apologize that this wasn''t more fruitful.

    I will pursue this on my own perhaps.

    Lisa
     
  24. lesco
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lesco » Jun 5, 2008
    Yes, what a disappointment. I was looking forward to learn more about the process.
     
  25. Dear Andrey,

    Thank you for permission to discuss LifeGem in your forum. We appreciate the opportunity and we will not abuse the privelage.

    A LifeGem is a certified created diamond created from the carbon captured from cremated remains and or a lock of hair. Lab created diamonds are created using very pure graphitized carbon.

    Our patented process is related to the capture of carbon from human or animal remains and or a lock of hair and purifying and graphitizing the carbon so that it can be used to create a lab created diamond.

    Our prices start at $2700 and go up from there depending on the size and color of the diamond the client chooses. The LifeGem is not for everyone and we never pressure anyone to purchase a LifeGem. We offer the information and make ourselves available for any client questions. We will be available for our clients when they are ready.

    The carbon from hair and or remains can indeed be used to create a lab created diamond as long as it is purified and graphitized and ground and sifted into an exact particle size. The result is a certified (by the GIA and or your local GIA Graduate Gemologist) high quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one.

    One of the forum members mentioned that the best thing to do for information is to contact us. He is absolutely correct. We will answer all your questions in person as well as provide printed materials and a DVD video that explains the entire process.

    With respect to losing the LifeGem diamond: I would imagine that losing any sentimental object could be distressing. I paid $10,000 for my wifes Hearts on Fire Ideal Cut diamond. It is a beauty by the way. If she lost it she would be devastated and I would be bummed out as well. We do capture enough carbon to create multiple stones and also have some in reserve to create a replacement. You can choose to have us store the extra carbon or you can choose to have the extra returned to you when the LifeGem is finished.

    Our mission is to provide a service that may ease the grieving process. If we were not doing as we say we are I would expect to go to prison. It is unconsciencable to think that we would do anything other than what we represent to the consumer.

    We do track each order as an indidual every step of the way. Every client is checked in one at a time and assigned a tracking id that is then engraved on the crucible that is used to capture, purify and graphitize the carbon. This container is used only once per client. The HPHT Diamond PRESS that we use can only grow one diamond at a time. We grow only one client diamond at a time per machine. The diamond is then cut and laser etched with a tracking id. It is then certified by the agency of your choice.

    LifeGem diamonds test as diamonds with the portable hand tester found at jewelry stores. The blue diamonds are doped blue with boron and the tester will not know what it is unless it is a tester for type 2B diamonds.

    Yellow diamonds are yellow from nitrogen. Blue are doped with boron. Green diamonds are heat treated yellow diamonds and red diamonds are a yellow that is first heat treated and then radiated.

    I believe that I have answered all of the questions asked in the forum. All of us at LifeGem appreciate the opportunity to enter your forum. As long as people are informed of what they are buying I believe that they should have all of the options available. I love my wifes Hearts on Fire Natural Diamond. It sparkles like no other. My wife loves her natural diamond and she also loves her LifeGem from her Grandma Rose and from her cat Mocha.

    Thank you again for this opporutnity.
     
  26. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » Jun 5, 2008
    Cremains I can understand since you typically end up with almost a shoe box full.

    You mention "a lock of hair". How much material is actually required to create this diamond? Or asked another way, how much of the carbonized material from the loved one is part of the created diamond, and how much is other material? Can you create an entire diamond from only a lock of hair?

    Does the GIA report state that it is a created diamond?
     
  27. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by denverappraiser » Jun 5, 2008
    Good Morning Rusty,

    To answer your questions.

    Where have you looked?
    Apparently not in the right places. Right here would be a fine choice if you care to post something. I’ve seen quite a bit of your advertising materials and press releases but very little that addresses the credibility concerns brought up above about the connection between carbon from a particular set of cremains and a particular diamond. Since this is what makes your service unique from other synthetic diamond manufacturers it seems entirely relevant.

    Have you asked to come and visit?
    No.

    Have you read our patent?
    Yes

    Have you called and asked to talk to me?
    No

    The GIA Certifies some of our created diamonds has anyone called them?
    I can speak only for myself but I am not aware of an origin of carbon certification service by GIA but that would certainly answer many of the questions about your products if they did. I speak with them regularly but no, I have not asked them this particular question. If you could provide a link to where this services is offered it would be helpful.

    The professors at MIT asked us to come give a speech on the process maybe someone would like to give them a call?
    The notes or even better the full text of this speech would probably be a very helpful place to start this discussion. It’s ok if it’s techy. Actually, that would be better. Part of the confusion may be that your advertising is a little sparse on details due to the limits of space and such. You’ll find no such limits here. Having received permission from Andrey, you can post as much material as you like and I, for one, would love to see this. Thanks for bring up that it's already been prepared.

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
    Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
     
  28. Dear Lisa,


    I just finished a detailed response. The post you are referencing was directed at the Denver Appraiser who claims he sees no evidence that we are doing as we say. I was just challenging his efforts at getting to the bottom of things. It is my posotion that he is making an unsubstantiated claim in which he did not put forth a reasonable effort to find the proper information in order to formulate an opinion. I am very sorry that the post was misunderstood.

    Feel free to give me a call if you would like to me to answer any of your questions personally.

    My post is in as much detail as I could provide to every question that I saw in all of the posts on the board.

    We have encountered alot of questions from people who claim to have attempted to gain an understanding and they never researched our patent, called our office, and or requested our video and brochure. The questions were designed to trigger thoughts on how to find out more information about our company. I really appreciate
     
  29. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 5, 2008
    Thanks Rusty.
     
  30. niceice
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by niceice » Jun 5, 2008
    I don''t have an opinion on the subject either way, but when the topic came up I remembered reading an article written on the subject by Robert James FGA, GG from the International School of Gemology and thought that it would provide a basis for expanding the scope of the conversation by providing members of PS with additional details and would provide Rusty with a platform to respond to some of the concerns raised by Robert in his letter because when I first read the article I really wondered what those responses might be...

    I don''t really think that there is a right or wrong to this concept, I don''t think that it''s creepy, we all become carbon over time, right? It''s really just a matter of whether "Turning Dad into a Diamond" (or whoever) is going to make the person who misses a loved one feel better...

    The statements written in the article below are the opinion of the author, not me, so don''t attack me if you don''t like what he has to say, I''m just posting the article because I feel it provides an alternative insight into the concept... That said, here''s the article in its entirety:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dead Dad''s a Diamond!

    A combined edition of Jewelry Adjuster and the ISG eNewsletter!

    As an insurance adjuster with several years in the field of forensic gemology and insurance fraud investigations, I admit that I have become a bit jaded to some of the unregulated claims of certain members of the jewelry industry. But this one is something different. Something a bit more sinister, more macabre, than the usual. Something that pulls at the heart strings of everyone who has lost a loved one, and that uses grief to sell what is purported to be diamonds made from human remains. And claims to let everyone out there be able to show off your new ring and say: my Dead Dad’s a Diamond!

    But here are the questions that have been bugging me ever since the first report of this LifeGem® process was announced.

    #1. I have handled jewelry salvage from home fires for years. And I know that many house fires can easily reach the 1400 to 1800 degree F temperature range. And diamonds (carbon) burn up at around 1800 degrees F. Meaning that when we looked for the salvage jewelry, the gold was there, the rubies were there, the sapphires were there, but the diamonds had burnt up in a flash of smoke in the fire.

    So….if a human body is cremated at temperatures between 1400 degrees and 1800 degrees F according to the ICFA http://www.icfa.org/cremation.htm#Cremation1, and we know that carbon is burned and consumed at this same temperature, how can there be any carbon left in the cremated human body to create a diamond? But we’ll come back to this one.

    #2. This is a tricky one. The processes used to create synthetic diamonds are difficult to produce and require very specific conditions. You either have to use High Temperature and High Pressure that emulates conditions below the earth. Or else you use what is called Chemical Vapor Deposition that uses methane gas and hydrogen to create carbon rain on a seed plate that creates a diamond. You can use a peanut to make diamonds using HPHT. But the LifeGem® folks don’t say they use HPHT. They say they use “sublimation” which is a cool term for CVD. The only problem that we will see later is that the CVD process cannot use human tissue, cooked or otherwise, to create a diamond in the methods that LifeGem® claims in their brochures or their patent application.

    So, I thought we would take a serious look at the LifeGem® claims and see if there is something we can uncover to get some answers. But very important……

    Every insurance adjuster, underwriter, agent, jeweler, gemologist, and appraiser needs to read this very carefully. Because one day you are going to get asked to repair, grade, appraise, insure, or handle a claim for one of these….and you are going to need the information I am about to provide.

    First, what is it?

    This is LifeGem®. A company that claims to offer solace to the grieving by turning your newly departed loved one into “a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life.” http://www.lifegem.com/

    And the process is presented as so loving, so easy, and so caring. They claim that you will have a diamond made exclusively from the carbon from your loved one:

    “LifeGem diamonds are created individually from your specific carbon source in our patented process.”http://www.lifegem.com/

    And very important, they will use the ashes from any standard cremation to create your LifeGem:

    “This process of creating a LifeGem begins with a portion of the cremated remains from any standard cremation. From here, we extract the carbon to begin the LifeGem diamond creation process.”http://www.lifegem.com/

    And they even give you a step by step rendition of the process that states:

    Step 1. Carbon Capture
    After extensive research and development, we have discovered how to extract the carbon from a lock of hair or existing cremated remains. This process begins with either an amount of hair collected during a routine hair cut, or a small portion of the remains from any standard cremation.

    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.” http://www.lifegem.com/
    And the order instructions are easy as all you need to do is open up the urn with Dear Old Dad’s ashes and:

    Step 4 Package and Secure

    ….If sending cremated remains, separate out NO MORE THAN 8 ounces (about 1 Cup) and tightly secure in a plastic bag or other plastic container. DO NOT send all of the remains. http://www.lifegem.com/

    And the Testimonials are just heart wrenching

    "Just thinking about Gerry''s diamond gives me a warm feeling; it''s almost as though he''s going to be coming home again."

    "Thank you so very much...it is absolutely stunning. I opened the box, and there it was..the exact color of my mother''s eyes!"

    "The Blue LifeGem sparkles with radiant light as my dear mother did while on earth."

    Well, I hate to say it, lady, but that is most likely not your Mom that you are looking at. Seems that a serious look at the LifeGem® product is going to leave a lot of questions in a lot of people’s minds about exactly what they are wearing….not who.

    What the LifeGem® documents really say:

    If we let all of the promotional brochures go for now, and delve into the actual US Patent Office records, the story changes dramatically. And I mean very dramatically from the promotional brochure. All full of yucky stuff that I really don’t think the LifeGem® folks want consumers to know about. But you all as jewelers, gemologists, appraisers and insurance professionals really need to know this because repairs, appraisals and claims are coming your way based on the number of these diamonds being sold.

    I am going to simply cut and paste the information out of the United States Patent Office Application filed by the LAW OFFICES OF MARK E WIEMELT, PC 10 SOUTH LASALLE STREET #3500, CHICAGO IL 60603 on behalf of VandenBiesen, Russell P.; (Naperville, IL) ; Herro, Gregory R.; (Chicago, IL) ; VandenBiesen, Dean T.; (Oshkosh, WI).

    These involve two US Patent Applications: 20030017932

    United States Patent Application
    20030017932

    Kind Code
    A1

    VandenBiesen, Russell P. ; et al.
    January 23, 2003

    And 20040031434
    United States Patent Application
    20040031434

    Kind Code
    A1

    VandenBiesen, Russell P. ; et al.
    February 19, 2004

    And the World Intellectual Property Organization file

    Pub. No.: WO/2003/008084

    International Application No.: PCT/US2002/022434

    Publication Date: 30.01.2003
    International Filing Date: 11.07.2002
    Chapter 2 Demand Filed: 06.02.2003

    IPC: B01J 3/06 (2006.01), C30B 23/00 (2006.01)

    Applicants: VANDENBIESEN, Russell, P. [US/US];
    1987 Golden Gate Lane , Naperville , IL 60563
    (US). HERRO, Gregory, R. [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton,
    Ste. 1N Chicago , IL 60614 (US).
    VANDENBIESEN, Dean, T. [US/US];
    734 Powers Street , Oshkosh , WI 54901 (US).

    (US). [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton, , Chicago , IL 60614 (US). [US/US]; (US). (US). [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton, , Chicago , IL 60614 (US). [US/US]; (US). (US). [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton, , Chicago , IL 60614 (US). [US/US]; (US).
    Inventors: VANDENBIESEN, Russell, P. [US/US];
    1987 Golden Gate Lane , Naperville , IL 60563
    (US).
    HERRO, Gregory, R. [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton,
    Ste. 1N, Chicago , IL 60614 (US).
    VANDENBIESEN, Dean, T. [US/US];
    734 Powers Street , Oshkosh , WI 54901 (US).

    (US). [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton, , Chicago , IL 60614 (US). [US/US]; (US). (US). [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton, , Chicago , IL 60614 (US). [US/US]; (US). (US). [US/US]; 2721 N. Wilton, , Chicago , IL 60614 (US). [US/US]; (US).
    Agent: WIEMELT, Mark, E.; Law Offices of Mark E. Wiemelt, P.C., Suite 3500, 10 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60603 (US).

    Priority Data: 60/306,053
    17.07.2001
    US 10/100,666 18.03.2002
    US

    Title: METHOD FOR MAKING SYNTHETIC GEMS COMPRISING ELEMENTS RECOVERED FROM COMPLETE OR PARTIAL HUMAN OR ANIMAL REMAINS AND THE PRODUCT THEREOF

    With all of the legal stuff out of the way, here is a breakdown of what is really going on. And rather than try to go back and forth on this, I am simply going to go through and provide you with quotes right out of the patent applications. You can decide for yourself if you believe that you can really just dip up an 8 ounce cup of Dear Old Dad’s ashes and send him off to be made into as many diamonds as you want. First, a definition:

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This

    graph·i·tize /?græf ??ta?z/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[graf-i-tahyz] to convert into graphite.

    Go look at your pencil to see some graphite. Remember this, it will be important later.

    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,….”

    This is what I sort of thought to begin with. So what do they recommend? Some very unconventional cremation actions that most families might not approve of if they knew about it being done to their loved ones. Here are a few recommended LifeGem® steps used in retrieving carbon from a loved one that may surprise you….

    “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.”

    Geez….let me get a mental image of that while wearing my LifeGem®. That’s a long way from just scooping up 8 ounces of Dear Old Dad’s ashes.

    Or you can cremate just a part of Dear Old Dad and leave the rest for LifeGem:

    “Alternatively, one or more body parts may be cremated.”

    Or just cook until the good stuff starts to show:

    “After combustion of the remains has progressed to the point of revealing carbonized remains such as organ tissue, the operator separates the carbonized remains from the rest of the remains.”

    I guess that metal shovel will come in handy again. And what about those cup full’s of ashes that you send in:

    “…the remains can be cremated conventionally, mixed with additional carbon from another source, and purified as described above. It is contemplated that, using this technique, a gem containing at least some of the original carbon from the cremated remains can be prepared, even if the amount of carbon present in the remains alone is insufficient to make a gemstone of desired size or type.”

    Now wait a minute, at no place in the brochure and website did LifeGem® say they were going to mix Dad with carbon from another source. In fact they specifically stated that:

    “LifeGem diamonds are created individually from your specific carbon source in our patented process.”

    “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.”

    Wait a minute!

    What we are reading is that you have three options: #1 Have your loved one only partially cremated and have their innards scooped out with a metal shovel and sent to LifeGem®, or #2 cut them into body parts to be selectively cremated with the rest going to LifeGem®, or #3 do what they say and send an 8 ounce scoop of traditional ashes to LifeGem® which will not be enough to make even one diamond.

    This sounds downright ghoulish to me. And I am not sure I want my loved ones scooped, cut up, dipped and falsified. And it sure seems a long way from the pictures painted by the brochure and website.

    But, it gets better! The final question is this: Is LifeGem® really making the diamonds they claim?

    There appears to be a fatal flaw in their claimed process. Here is the situation.

    You remember the term graphitized that we learned above. Well the High Pressure High Temperature process of making synthetic diamonds uses graphite as the carbon source for making synthetic diamonds. And that is precisely the source that LifeGem® claims they use in their patent application:

    “In addition to being pure within 10 ppm, the carbon also becomes graphitized by the high temperatures, which is necessary to provide graphite for the crystal growth process.”

    But here is the problem, the actual process that they claim to use is sublimation, or Chemical Vapor Deposition.

    “….by collecting substantially pure elemental carbon from the remains and creating gems from the carbon, as by using crystal growth sublimation to form diamonds.”

    "It is necessary to provide graphite for the crystal growth process. "

    But you don’t use graphite to make sublimation formed diamonds. You use a gas:

    “Chemical vapor deposition of diamond is a method of growing diamond by creating the environment and circumstances necessary for carbon atoms in a gas to settle on a diamond substrate in diamond crystalline form.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_diamond

    So LifeGem® is claiming to use sublimation deposition that requires a gas, but they say they turn the carbon into graphite which is solid, to use in the sublimation process that requires a gas.

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
    graph·ite /?græf a?t/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[graf-ahyt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

    –noun

    a very common mineral, soft native carbon, occurring in black to dark-gray foliated masses, with metallic luster and greasy feel: used for pencil leads, as a lubricant, and for making crucibles and other refractories; plumbago; black lead.

    At no place in their US Patent Office Application did LifeGem® ever explain any of this. In fact they just glossed over the entire process by which the synthetic diamonds would be made. Leaving only these glaring contradictions that make it appear that what they claim to be doing…..cannot be happening.

    In reality, the CVD process uses a gas such as methane that in the chamber, and by processes that no one could fully explain, separates out into elements with carbon raining out as diamond and graphite on the diamond seed plate. And the hydrogen cleans the graphite off the seed plate leaving the deposited diamond. But at no point in their US Patent Application was this clarified, or stated. And the graphite is a by product of the CVD gas, not the other way around.

    There is a massive amount of information in these US Patent Documents, as well as a lot of discussions across the internet about LifeGem®. Far too much to include here. But perhaps someone out there in some position of authority can take a look at these claims.

    But one more issue……..insurance coverage and claims.

    I don’t really care if LifeGem® is making $19,999.00 for a .90 carat synthetic diamond as long as they are properly representing their product. But I think that some of the insurance companies out there need to ask some questions. Because if these are not as represented there are some big insurance policies being written out there on some very questionable products. And given the claimed provenance on these diamonds, it is going to be impossible to offer a like/kind/quality replacement by your replacement service.

    And what are you going to do if Dear Old Dad gets hit on the kitchen sink and chipped?

    I have to tell you all that I lost my Dear Old Dad 5 years ago. And he is resting peacefully in a plot he picked out in Bowie , Texas . And he would think this whole article is cool, and would hope that no one out there is insulted by my calling this article by the name, Dead Dad’s a Diamond. But there are a lot of folks walking around with what they believe is a LifeGem® diamond made out of their Dear Old Dad. And I am not personally sure that they have what they believe they have, or that they would be happy if all of this turns out to be true.

    I am really not sure why some Attorneys General office, some insurance company, one of the jewelry industry magazines, of just someone out there has not done some research on these folks already. They have a long, long list of famous nationwide television shows and dignitaries promoting them. But everyone just seems to accept their claims with no one doing any investigation.

    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.

    I am not saying that LifeGem® is committing any kind of fraud. I am not saying don’t shop with them. And I am not saying don’t insure their product.

    But I am saying, someone needs to ask some serious questions of LifeGem®. Someone in the jewelry, insurance or legal industry. Someone other than these beautiful people who honestly believe they are being provided a diamond made from their loved one’s ashes.

    Final Note: I realize that I have injected some humor into a topic that is not very funny. But I am finishing up the final draft of this edition at 0645hrs on Tuesday morning. I sat down to begin working on this at 1100hrs Monday morning. Yes, over 19 hours straight of Google research, document reading, scientific study, document study, document review, correlation of facts, write, rewrite, and rewrite again. So please forgive any formatting errors and spelling errors, its been a long day. But the reason I could not stop is that the deeper I got into this research the more convinced I became that something is terribly wrong at LifeGem®. Somewhere in all of these reams of documents is the truth. I’m not sure I have found it yet. But I could not stop until I had given it all I had. Which I did. The rest will be up to all of you.

    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 (and others)
     
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