We've seen some pretty incredible methods out there for memorializing the dead, but one of the most amazing examples comes from an elite funeral service offering the ultimate in memorial bling: for a hefty price (anywhere from $5000 to $40,000), they will transform their clients' dead bodies into genuine precious gems.
Founded in Switzerland by Rinaldo Willy, the company Algordanza specializes in the production of synthetic “memorial diamonds,” which are fashioned by high-tech processes from the ashes of the dead.
In an interview with Vice.com, Willy says the idea came to him ten years ago, when he read an article on the creation of synthetic diamonds from organic ashes. He contacted the article's author, who owned some of the machines used in the process, and they soon went into business together. Today the company processes up to 850 bodies per year in facilities like the one shown here:
“I loved the idea of dead people becoming something you can touch and enjoy the sight of,” Willy explains. “I also like the fact that a diamond remains, can be kept and passed down from generation to generation.”
The conversion, which combines physical and chemical processes with extreme temperatures, can take several months to complete. The finished product can be as large as 4 carats uncut. According to Willy, the size, color and purity of the diamond depends on several factors, including whether the deceased had dentures or prosthetic limbs, or if they took certain medications.