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Turn Your Pet into a Diamond

Turn Your Pet into a Diamond

Think taxidermy is the only way to memorialize a deceased pet? Think again. A Chicago-based company can literally turn Fido into a prized jewel.

Started as a way to memorialize human family members, LifeGem made national headlines when it announced it could extract carbon from cremated remains and produce a lab-created diamond keepsake.

It’s a four-step process: The cremated remains are heated to 5,000 degrees Celsius, which reduces them to purified carbon. The carbon then goes into a diamond press, where heat and pressure are applied at the same time to create the gem. The entire process can take up to nine months.

While the company was started with humans in mind, it soon discovered an untapped market. “Immediately, from day one, we had plenty of pet owners calling us,” Greg Herro, the CEO of LifeGem, tells MNN. “That appealed to me as well. I’m a big pet lover.”

Herro practices what he preaches. He turned his own dog — a 150-pound bull mastiff named Root — into two diamonds. One ended up in a ring for his wife. The other is in a bracelet he wears. “It was a comfort to me, and that’s how I knew it was a comfort to everyone else.”

The company produces between 700 and 1,000 diamonds per year, about 20 percent of which are for pet owners. A doggy diamond can cost between $2,500 and $25,000 depending on its size and color. According to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. pet owners are expected to spend more than $55 billion on their pets in 2013.

LifeGem has now expanded beyond pet memorials and into conservation education. London’s Royal Academy of Arts, as part of an exhibit on polar bears and global warming, had Herro’s company produce a diamond from a deceased polar bear’s arm. The finished product ended up in the museum. And Herro is quick to point out: “No polar bears were harmed during this process.”

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Read more: Dogs, Pets

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Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally – all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

91 comments

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5:04AM PDT on Aug 14, 2013

That's weird. I do have my pets ashes but when I die I want all our ashes released back to the earth where our remains belong.... Not as trinkets hanging off someone. And then is the diamond precious or is your loved one precious? I think this is an unhealthy thing to do....

12:33PM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

ty

12:29PM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

I'm not too interested. I do have most of my dogs' ashes but I wouldn't want to spend that much money for the process. I'd prefer to donate to a shelter in my pet's name.

8:20PM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

I kinda want my son to to this with MY cremains.

4:15PM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

I think all we keep is the love, hanging on to a diamond, not sure about that.

4:11PM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing. Interesting.

11:38AM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

10:22AM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

thanks for posting

5:02AM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

nonsense

5:28AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

I'm not sure I could do that to my babies!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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