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If you thought gem-studded collars were excessive, you won’t believe what some other people are doing with their pets when they pass away.Illinois-based company LifeGem is one of several companies that has found a niche making gems out of recently deceased, cremated pet, The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey A. Fowler reports.
On a scientific level, the concept makes sense. The carbon found in the ashes of cremated remains is that same carbon found in diamonds and other precious stones, and laboratories have been making synthetic gems for decades.
Pet owners can make gems out of living pets too, by using strands of their hair or fur.
Here’s how it works, according to the WSJ:
Fabricating a diamond speeds up what happens deep inside the earth naturally. After separating the carbon from other compounds in the remains to produce graphite, the companies put the carbon and a diamond seed crystal into a chamber with thick metal walls that heats it to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit under about 800,000 pounds per square inch of pressure.
Turning a pet into a gem can cost anywhere from $250 to over $1,400; diamonds are one of the pricier options.
Pet jewelry seem bizarre to most, but some see it as a wearable memorial. “It’s a little eccentric—not something everyone would do,” Natalie Pilon, who wears a diamond ring made out of her deceased cat, told the WSJ. “It’s a way for me to remember my cat, and have her with me all the time.”