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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. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    Since this has been opened for discussion, I want to introduce the following information from Robert James' newsletter that I receive. I have previously asked and received permission to share the information from his newsletters, but rather than excerpt I will reprint his newsletter in its entirety.

    Some of you with squeamish stomachs may prefer to skip some of the technical information. Amongst the things I suspected is the comment that carbon from other sources is added to the miniscule amount that might remain after a cremation. This is a long post and a second follow up from Robert James will follow this one. This one was sent to me on April 1st, an appropriate date concidering the topic.

    Wink



    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 Application20030017932
    Kind Code A1
    VandenBiesen, Russell P. ; et al. January 23, 2003


    And 20040031434

    United States Patent Application20040031434
    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)
     
  2. [email protected]
    Rough_Rock

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    by [email protected] » Jun 5, 2008
    Dear Neil,

    I appreciate your straight forward response. I appreciate your candor and I now have a different opinion of your intentions.

    I will discuss your suggestions with my partners. It is hard to share all of the details with a limited marketing budget.

    It seems that Lisa thought I was replying to her and I think that I might have hurt her feelings. We are knew to this blog type of communiction and should be more careful in our efforts to respond.

    Thank you for a fair and balanced response to my questions.
     
  3. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    And here is the followup sent on April 2nd.

    I have sent a URL for this thread to Mr. James, perhaps he will come visit and speak further with us.

    Wink


    The truth is in the US Patent Applications!

    LifeGem Owner claims to be using HPHT, US Patent application says otherwise!

    I knew the truth was in there somewhere. Just took some time to find it. The truth about the LifeGem® program is right there in black and white inside their US Patent Applications #20030017932 and #20040031434.

    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® in fact applied for US Patents for a process claiming to make synthetic diamonds using the sublimation method of gemstone synthesis.


    “[0031] Using the process of crystal growth from sublimation 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 # 20030017932

    [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



    After further review of their list of referenced US Patents from their applications, LifeGem® is indeed claiming to be using the sublimation technique and refers to several other patents that also create gemstones using sublimation, including a 1995 US Patent #5,762,896 held by Hunter; Charles Eric (Raleigh, NC), Verbiest; Dirk (Carrboro, NC), originally known as: C3. Now known as Charles and Colvard, Ltd.

    Makers of synthetic moissanite.

    The problem: You cannot create synthetic diamonds by sublimation.

    Which brings us to the question: Exactly what is LifeGem® delivering to its clients?

    I called LifeGem® and had a very nice talk to one of the principal owners, Dean VandenBiesen. He informed me that LifeGem® uses the HPHT process of diamond synthesis. But could not clearly explain to me why both of their US Patent Applications listed their process as sublimation, and referenced other US Patents using sublimation. His main response was that, the process of diamond production was not the important issue, that the carbon extraction process was the important issue of the patent.

    But I never could get a proper answer as to why the listed technology on their US Patent, and the claimed "patented technology" in their promotional materials, are so remarkably different. Particularly when their true and formal US Patented technology cannot make a synthetic diamond.

    And their patented extraction methods listed in their US Patent Applications are no where to be found on their website and brochure. 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!

    In the end, we are still left with questions. The promotional claims of their brochure and the website do not equal the science of their documents. And their patent does not truly reflect a diamond making process by their own admission.

    But I wanted to clarify the issue of the term sublimation in their US Patent Office Applications. As far as the rest, whenever I see a company with this many discrepancies in their official documents, it just makes me wonder if they have something to hide.

    Makes me feel like Dorothy in Oz. I want to take a look to see if there''s a man behind that curtain.

    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)
     
  4. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    LOL! I see Todd was thinking along the same lines I am and quicker to the punch as well...

    Wink
     
  5. niceice
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by niceice » Jun 5, 2008
    Hey Wink, get out of my brain man! There''s barely room in there for me and the other five voices! [​IMG]
     
  6. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    Five? Dang, last time we were together there was more like twenty. How do you get it down to five, I have a few extras that I would like to evict...
     
  7. niceice
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by niceice » Jun 5, 2008
    I choked them out and made them into Life Gems? [​IMG]
    That''s my attempt to get the thread back on track!
     
  8. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 5, 2008
    Rusty no worries. Just don''t want to waste any PS''ers time here.

    Just trying to understand how my dad would end up as a diamond. Or would he?

    I needed a little help from my PS friends. And u of course.

    The "balanced" responses thus far are not shedding good light on some of the patent claims and product results.
     
  9. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 5, 2008
    Todd & Wink were you guys separated at birth?

    LMAO - GMTA!
     
  10. 777_LDY
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by 777_LDY » Jun 5, 2008
    My mouth is zipped on this one, however I did find those articles very interesting, I just had to say I''m ROTFLM**O right now!
     
  11. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    DUDE! At $2,700 each! Wow! You know I can not afford over 50k in those things, still, it IS tempting, some of these voices are VERY annoying.
     
  12. niceice
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by niceice » Jun 5, 2008
    You're definitely not wasting anybody's time Lisa... I think that this is a very interesting topic that many of us within the industry have wondered about from time to time, but haven't explored simply because we have so many other things that demand our attention throughout the day... And the reality is that people who are interested in the topic will read it and those who are not will pass it by, those who are inclined to comment will, that's the beauty of a forum like PS, it allows people to raise topics which are of interest to them and discuss it with other people - nobody is forced to be here, well at least not most people, I chained myself to the desk this morning and I'm forcing myself to be here, I'm not letting myself go until I send myself a million dollar ransom! Dang, it's going to be a LONG day.

    [​IMG] Could it be? [​IMG]
    Hey Moms, you've got some 'xplaining t'do!
     
  13. arjunajane
    Ideal_Rock

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    by arjunajane » Jun 5, 2008
    Well, I have to say I was interested in this thread before and posted my initial reaction to hearing of this product for the first time.
    IMHO, these articles kindly supplied by Wink and Todd have opened a serious can of worms for LifeGem - at the very least, as the author states, answers addressing such discrepancies are surely required.
    I am not saying that Mr VandenBeisen owes PS''ers any explanations, but it surely seems like a good a *forum* (sorry) as any..

    Rusty, I am only speaking for myself - I would be extremely interested to read a response from LifeGem to the articles posted by Mr James, and invite such discussion whole heartedly in the spirit of education and accountability.

    Sincerely
    AJ.
     
  14. YourGemologist
    Rough_Rock

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  15. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » Jun 5, 2008
    Let me understand this, the patents say you should be cremated in a preferred manner so some of the "wet" parts aren''t all burnt out? Yet the patented process cannot actually USE cremains?

    Question #1 are lifegems made by the patented process CVD, and if so how are cremains used when we are told it is not possible via that process, and also, what about people who didn''t use the preferred method of cremation and in fact HAVE burnt out all the carbon?

    Question #2 if lifegems does not use the patented process of CVD why are you referring us to patents that have nothing to do with the process that you do use?
     
  16. YourGemologist
    Rough_Rock

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    by YourGemologist » Jun 5, 2008
    The LifeGem patent applications all refer to sublimation and refer to Charles and Covard's patent for making synthetic moissanite by sublimation. Only in one place do they refer to HPHT, which is what they claim to actually use. When questioned in places like this forum they make big claims about HPHT, but they never want to talk about those patent applications.

    You cannot make a synthetic diamond by sublimation, btw.

    The problem is, they cannot show that they make any diamonds at all themselves. All facts so far point to them out sourcing the diamond making process in spite of their advertising claims.

    It is possible to have your loved one cut into pieces before the cremation process. Something discussed in LifeGems patents. But this is never discussed in their advertising (you can imagine why). So you could simply take your loved one and have them cut up and the carbon extracted, and then cremate the remains. Cutting off their head and sending that in could make a diamond. But no one would do that. So the LifeGem ads say to simply send an 8oz scoop of traditional ashes and they will make the diamonds.

    At no place in their website or brochures does LifeGem say to cut up your loved one before cremation. They only refer to 8oz of traditional cremation ashes, which are all that is left after everything has burned up.


    Robert
     
  17. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    Robert,

    Thank you for taking time from your busy day to respond to this thread. It is greatly appreciated by many of us.

    Wink
     
  18. nina85
    Rough_Rock

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    by nina85 » Jun 5, 2008
    HI Lisa,

    I can certainly see why people want to do this as it can mean your loved one is with you, but i do think if this is something you are really going to consider you need to speak to people who have had it done and get as much info as poss you dont want to end up with some thing that is false and worthless to you in a memory way.

    Good luck
     
  19. [email protected]
    Rough_Rock

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    by [email protected] » Jun 5, 2008
    Rusty, I am only speaking for myself - I would be extremely interested to read a response from LifeGem to the articles posted by Mr James, and invite such discussion whole heartedly in the spirit of education and accountability.

    Sincerely
    AJ.


    Dear AJ,

    That is a great question.

    Robert James recieved our response to that News Letter via Fed Ex on May 1st 2008.

    You should ask if he would like to share our response.
     
  20. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » Jun 5, 2008
    Actually there are SEVERAL "great questions" on this thread alone. You have yet to answer even one. You received permission to answer questions, not to keep telling US to ask other people. We''re asking YOU. You do know your own product don''t you? If you don''t plan to address the questions honestly I guess there''s no point in this thread.
     
  21. lisa1.01fvs1
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lisa1.01fvs1 » Jun 5, 2008
    Thanks Robert James for highlighting the opacity of their operation.

    Just as Garry initially said.

    Nina - oh don''t worry about me but thanks. That''s why I appealed to PS to start a dialogue about this.
    I smelled something rotten and BTW they are not the only co. purporting to make diamonds from cremains.

    I am guessing there have been some law suits over this.

    Robert, care to share their response dated 5/1/08?

    So far I am glad I didn''t ship dad, grandma, grandpa & eventually kitty over there!

    Thank you, thank you PS [​IMG]
     
  22. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
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    by denverappraiser » Jun 5, 2008
    Thanks Rusty.

    I always try to be polite and fair. I’m afraid that this thread and this whole forum may overwhelm you but, as you point out, marketing opportunities where you have a free hand to spell out the full nitty-gritty details to people who will actually read and study them are few and far between, especially free ones. Marketing is all about the number of impressions and the quality of those impressions per dollar. This thread has already had over 850 views and most of those people have read every word you’ve written. Many are fairly influential people in the jewelry and related industries as well as avid diamond and jewelry consumers and a fair number of my fellow appraisers so Andrey has given you a free opportunity here that, frankly, I don’t ever recall seeing him do before. You should feel honored. Having read the rules you know, even the ADVERTISERS here don’t have the leeway to do what you’ve been granted. I expect that this thread will end up having several thousand viewers. That’s quite an opportunity if you choose to accept it.

    It seems likely that the text of the speech to the folks at MIT would also contain some of the answers to Mr. James’s concerns over details like how much refined carbon can be extracted from an 8 oz sample of cremains or a gram of hair, what process(es) you are using to go from refined carbon to diamond and similar technical details. I would certainly think that this is the sort of thing that a group of MIT professors would find interesting but, if it''s not in there, now might be a good time to write something up.

    I’m not sure where your production facility is but YES, I would definitely be interested in a tour. Thank you. I’m guessing it’s rather far from me, it seems that everything is, but I do travel around quite a bit and if I can arrange a visit that fits your schedule I would love to see what you do. Where is it?

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
    Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
     
  23. YourGemologist
    Rough_Rock

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    by YourGemologist » Jun 5, 2008
    Hi Rusty,

    I am not going to come here to this respected venue and enter into any disrespectful or discourteous rhetoric with you.

    But since you have directed AJ to ask me about your response of 1 May 2008, I will respond.

    It was a response letter from your attorney, George Wheeler, Esq., spinning the same smoke and mirror show that your website offers. Unfortunately, Mr Wheeler was not astute enough to attach privilege and confidentiality to the letter, so I am going to publish it, along with my response to it, in an upcoming edition of our newsletter.

    If it was Mr. Wheeler''s intent to intimidate me, it was a woefully inept effort.

    But let''s get back to the issue here rather than try to side track the thread. We are looking for answers to our questions. They are not difficult questions. And do not require you to divulge any corporate secrets. They are just simple questions that every consumer should ask of you before ordering your services.

    So you might as well go ahead and answer the questions here on this forum.

    #1. Where are the diamond presses you claim to own and operate?

    #2. Out of an 8 ounce cup of traditional cremation ashes, how much actual graphite do you produce?

    #3. Of 100% of the carbon contained in your claimed product, what is the average percentage of carbon from a loved one''s ashes?

    #4. How can you prove to consumers that you actually use the ashes of their loved one’s in your claimed synthetic diamonds?

    I am not going to stop asking these questions. Consumers deserve some answers, especially considering the emotional attachment that goes along with your product.

    I assure you that I am not intimidated by your attorney, and I will not stop asking these questions until I get answers on behalf of consumers.
    Robert James FGA, GG
    International School of Gemology
     
  24. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    So Rusty,

    Your response to Robert''s questions was to sic an attack attorney on him? Not going to play well in Peoria, and probably not too well on Pricescope. These folks like, nay, demand, good answers and do not cotton much to prevarication.

    Seems to me some straight forward answers would serve you better.

    Just my opinion of course.

    Wink
     
  25. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2008
    Todd,

    I can''t get a word out of Mom. She ain''t even pleading the 5th, just ignoring me. You doing any better?

    Wink
     
  26. purrfectpear
    Ideal_Rock

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    by purrfectpear » Jun 5, 2008
    Sounds like mom went to the customer relations school of LifeGem [​IMG]

    No ''splaining, just lots of apple pie.
     
  27. 777_LDY
    Brilliant_Rock

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  28. Sharon101
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Sharon101 » Jun 5, 2008
    Maybe Rusty uses homeopathy principles to make the diamonds. Maybe if you shake the diamond in water with the cremains it creates a memory in all mentioned particles. And thats how they can even have backups made from that one strand of hair you provided!!!!!!
     
  29. Linda W
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Linda W » Jun 5, 2008
    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww [​IMG]
     
  30. arjunajane
    Ideal_Rock

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    by arjunajane » Jun 5, 2008
    I absolutely agree with Purrfect on this - you have insisted on passing the buck on every question that has been posed here. Mr James has had the good manners and good faith to support and explain his claims, and this thread wasn''t even started about him..

    Anyway, who really cares right? The whole thing sounds positively shady and imo, just plain wrong.
    Lisa, i hope you have received some of the answers you sought - but honey, if I were you, I''d stay well away![​IMG]
     
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