Death is a fact of life. One that has been brought a little closer to home in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the highly contagious nature of the disease has disrupted what many people consider the normal grieving process and the ideas, for many, of what a funeral should be. From travel restrictions to COVID concerns, there are many reasons why families worldwide seek something other than traditional funerals to honor their loved ones while holding on to their memories. Enter, Eterneva, an Austin-based startup that creates diamonds from the cremated ashes or hair of people and pets.
While it may sound a little more like science-fiction, the science that drives Eterneva’s unique diamond-making technology is sound. It also follows a specific process that takes between seven to nine months to create the diamond. Eterneva shares each step of the process with family members, providing photographs and videos. Eterneva co-founders Garrett Ozar and Adelle Archer believe this parallels the grieving process as the diamonds are formed. By sharing the videos and images along the way, Eterneva helps loved ones work through the grieving process while reminding them they are not alone in their grief.
The Diamond Growing Process
The entire diamond-growing process, once Eterneva receives the carbon, takes between seven and nine months. It begins when grieving family members order the Eterneva Welcome Kit and follow the instructions inside. Once Eterneva receives your loved one’s ashes, we’ll begin the carbon purification process. The goal is to purify the ashes to extract the carbon that is left behind. The total process takes between 1.5 and two months.
Once the carbon graphite powder is generated, the diamond growth process begins. The Eterneva labs can create in two to three months what takes nature centuries to accomplish. For Eterneva’s purposes, it is all about finding the perfect balance of heat and pressure to transform the ashes of a loved one into a beautiful memorial diamond.
Once the diamond is formed, they assess the diamond’s quality, focusing on precisely placing inclusions in the diamond to match the desired shape and size. Finally, your loved one’s diamond goes through a thorough quality inspection and is cut by our expert cutters to maximize the sparkle and beauty of your diamond.
After the diamond is cut, the coloration process begins. Depending on the color you choose, this stage can take between one and three months. Then there is grading and engraving, which takes approximately one month. Finally, Eterneva can help you arrange the perfect setting for your diamond, or you can choose a local jeweler for this task. This process often takes one month to complete.
The Eterneva Inspiration
Archer tells the story of how she came up with the idea over dinner with a fellow scientist after the death of her mentor. Archer, who was working on a lab-grown startup at the time, became her first customer and carries a piece of her mentor and friend with her everywhere. Archer acknowledges that her product is new and different in the end-of-life space but feels that her product helps create a platform that celebrates the life of the person who has departed – something others in the industry aren’t able to do.
For grieving families located across the country, this offers the opportunity to share in the experience by ordering multiple diamonds for different family members. Eterneva can create four to five diamonds from ½ cup of ashes. The average person produces 7 to 10 cups of aches once cremated. This means even large families can spread the gift among family members.
Eterneva diamonds are available in various colors, including:
The color, size, and shape of the diamond affect its price and the amount of ash required to grow the diamond. However, once made, the diamonds can be placed into custom settings that honor the person and celebrate the life that is gone from this world.
Archer points out that while many of the customers use Eterneva to celebrate the lives of human family members, nearly 40 percent of the stunning jewelry they create is to celebrate the lives of pets who have given so much to their families. What a beautiful way to allow every family member to carry a piece of a beloved pet with them.
Managing grief is a process. One that doesn’t end when a funeral occurs or final goodbyes are said. It takes time, just like creating a beautiful memorial diamond, to celebrate the lives of those you love.