talesofscienceandlove:

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dbvictoria:

Meet the Man Who Transforms Corpses into Diamonds

Rinaldo Willy’s job is to transform dead people into precious stones. 

Willy, 33, is the founder and CEO of Algordanza, a peculiar funeral home based in the lovely town of Domat/Ems in western Switzerland. Algordanza—which in the local Romansch language means “remembrance”—is one of the leaders in the production of so called “memorial diamonds.” If you fancy a blinged-out eternal sleep, Algordanza will put the latest technologies at your service to convert your ashes into a synthetic diamond. 

The price for this transfiguration ranges between 4,500 and 20,000 Swiss francs ($5,000-$22,000), depending on how big a diamond you want to become. That includes the packaging of your shiny remains into what the firm’s website describes as a “noble wooden box.” But it will then be up to your loved ones to decide whether to leave you in your noble box or put you on a ring or pendant so they can carry you around with them. 

Every year, 850 former-people enter Algordanza’s laboratory to emerge some years later as a precious gem. While shortage of land and increasing population are calling the traditional cemetery model into question, perhaps the future of corpse management could lie in this unusual blend of mortuary science and jewelry. 

To further investigate, I caught up with the man himself, Rinaldo Willy.

So, can you tell us how you got the idea of making diamonds from corpses?

The idea first struck meten years ago, when I was a student of economics. One of my teachers gave me an article by a Russian scientist to read; it was about the production of synthetic diamonds to be used in the semiconductor industry. The article explained how such diamonds could be made from ashes, and I misinterpreted it, thinking it was referring to human ashes–while in fact it was talking about vegetable ashes. 

I liked the idea, and I asked my teacher for more information on that process of transforming human ashes into diamonds. He quickly told me that I had got the whole thing wrong. But he found that my mistake was quite intriguing, so he got in touch with the author of the article, who just happened to have some diamond-making machines here in Switzerland. Together, we started to set up what would become Algordanza.

What was so compelling about turning human ashes into diamonds?

Diamonds are precious, pure, clean. They couldn’t be more different from today’s cemeteries, which are places crammed with too many graves, very often neglected, and where you can’t have a real relationship with the dead. I loved the idea of dead people becoming something you can touch and enjoy the sight of. I also like the fact that a diamond remains, can be kept and passed down from generation to generation. It’s not something that you just scatter away at some point, like sometimes happens with ashes from cremation. 

In other words, you think that “diamonds are forever.” 

I don’t want to use that term, since “forever” recalls the concept of eternity, which belongs to the Church’s terminology. We prefer the word “unzerbrechlich,” which in German means “indestructible.” Our diamonds are indestructible tools of remembrance, but, at the end of the day, it depends on a person’s loved ones to keep their memory alive. 

Let’s get a bit technical. What is the procedure to transform human ashes into a synthetic diamond?

The whole process takes place here in Switzerland. After a person is cremated, we receive their ashes; according to the legislation of the country the dead person is from, we either receive the ashes in a single urn or in two urns shipped at two different times to avoid the situation where, in case of accident, all the ashes are lost.

We treat the ashes with particular chemical agents to extract all the carbon from them. Next, carbon is heated to high temperatures and converted into graphite. Finally, we place the graphite in a machine that essentially reproduces the conditions that are given in the depths of the Earth, where natural diamonds form over thousands of years: extremely high pressure and temperatures around 1500 degrees Celsius. After some weeks, or months, we obtain the diamond.

How big are the diamonds that you can create in your laboratory?

Usually they are four carats when they are rough and 1 carat after they’ve been cut. There have been diamonds as big as 1.6 or 1.8 carats, but they were exceptional cases. 

Why do some people become bigger diamonds than others?

In general, the dimension of the diamond depends on how long you keep the graphite in the machine: the longer the process, the bigger the diamond. But it also depends on the quality of the ashes. For example, if a person used to wear dentures, or a prosthesis, or they used to take certain medicines, their ashes would be less pure and the quality of the diamond would be inferior. 

Such things can also influence the color of the stone. For example, people who have been treated with chemotherapy usually wind up being diamonds of lighter colors. But we still don’t know what determines the color of the gem: our diamonds are usually blue because of the presence of boron traces in human body, but every person changes into a different and unique diamond, ranging from crystal-clear to almost black. 

What’s the difference between one of your diamonds and a real diamond?

Our diamonds are real diamonds. They have all the physical and chemical properties of diamonds. Obviously, synthetic diamonds are less valuable than natural ones, since they’re man-made. But you can’t tell our diamonds from natural ones with the naked eye. Not even a jeweler could. The only one way to distinguish between them is a chemical screening – a gemologist may help you with that –which will find out that the stone was made artificially. 

So hypothetically, nobody but gemologists could guess that the diamond ring I am wearing is actually, say, my late fiancée? 

There’s no apparent difference. It would most likely look like a natural blue diamond, which costs in the neighborhood of $40,000.

Don’t you think that it may give rise to a new fashion of “body snatching”? I mean thieves, who aren’t usually very knowledgeable about gemological screenings, could take my diamond in the belief that they’re just stealing a precious stone, when in fact they’re snatching my grandpa.  

Natural diamonds always go with a certificate proving their authenticity; therefore it could be difficult for a thief to resell our diamonds. But the possibility of this kind of theft does exist, since more or less 80 percent of our costumers treat their memorial diamonds as jewels, often mounting them on rings. 

And indeed, a similar case has happened some time ago in Germany: police called us after finding one of our diamonds in a thief’s hideout, together with jewels, money and stolen TVs. Luckily, in that case the diamond had a laser inscription—which we provide at an extra cost—and the police could get in touch with us. 

Is it possible to make more than one diamond from the same person, in order to avoid a scenario in which you lose the diamond, thereby losing your dead relative forever?

Yes, it is possible, since just two grams of carbon are sufficient to produce a diamond. In fact, some of our customers, especially in Japan, ask to make many memorial diamonds from the same ashes, one for each member of the family. Theoretically, and depending on the quantity and quality of the ashes, we could churn out up to 50 diamonds for every person; practically, the best we’ve done so far is nine diamonds. 

How big are you in Japan?

We are huge in Japan. It accounts for 25 percent of our sales. I think that it’s mainly for two reasons: in the first place, they have a much stronger cult of ancestors than we have in Europe; they have a very close relationship with their dead. Secondly, it’s a question of numbers: more than 99 percent of Japanese people are cremated after death. That means that there are many more ashes to be transformed into diamonds. 

In general, why do people resorting to your services decide to be transformed into diamonds?

In many cases they don’t decide, since it’s their relatives—usually their mothers or wives—who come to us. The reason given by the relatives is typically that they want to keep the deceased always with them. But there are also people who choose to become diamonds while they are still alive. Often they are people who are aware that they’ll die soon, like for example someone with a terminal illness. 

One of the reasons they give us is economic—they want to avoid the costs of burial in a cemetery. In other cases, they’re people living alone and very far from the place where they were born, who are afraid that nobody would properly care for their grave if they were buried.

Are you going to become a diamond, too?

I don’t know. Hopefully it will be up to my relatives, to my wife and children, to decide whether I will. They’re the ones who will have to choose the best way to cope with the grief and loss.

(x)

If I don’t manage to transform into an immortal Vampire Witch Queen, this is what I want done with my remains. Then I want the resulting gem set into the most ornate gothy-goth pendant possible ("it needs more bats!"), and passed down through the years as an important goth heirloom. 

I wonder if my parents would go for this. I’d love to have a diamond made of their ashes! I want my mom’s to be a black diamond though.

OKAY, BUT WHY CHLOROPHYLL THO?!?!?

mangoestho:

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(THIS ME DEEPLY FUCKING WITH LIQUID CHLOROPHYLL VIA SELFIES)

I DEEPLY FUCK WITH CHLOROPHYLL. I LOVE PLANTS. Y’all have seen me fawn and go on and on and on about adaptogens, flavanoids and of course, liquid chlorophyll! But, I’ve got links on links about how bossed up adaptogens and flavanoids are, but not a lot about this chlorophyll. So lemme tell u what it’s about!

CHLOROPHYLL IS THE SHIT BECAUSE IT HAS THE POWER AND POTENTIAL TO COMPLETELY TURN OVER AND RENEW OUR BODIES ON A MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR LEVEL! IS THAT NOT INCREDIBLE??!?!?!? THAT’S WHY EATING GREEN FOODS ARE SO GOOD FOR YOU! THE WHOLE IDEA IS THAT U ARE REPAIRING, PROTECTING AND ENRICHING ALL AT THE SAME TIME! 

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its molecular structure is almost identical to hemoglobin except for the center atom. In hemoglobin this is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium ( see look at that Mg in the center of that chlorophyll molecule up top).

This means that when ingested, liquid chlorophyll can actually help to do the job of hemoglobin (hemoglobin is so vital to the health of our blood – in fact, blood is approx 75% hemoglobin). It helps to rebuild and replenish our red blood cells, boosting our energy and increasing our wellbeing almost instantly.

BUT NOT ONLY THAT, IT DOES SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!! LOOK!!!

  • Anti Carcinogenic: Chlorophyll protects against a whole host of carcinogens found in fungus-laden foods such as nuts and grains, the toxins from cooked meats, and air-borne carcinogens (from pollution). It blocks the metabolism in the body of harmful chemicals known as procarcinogens that damage DNA. Studies published in the journals Carcinogenesis and Food and Chemical Toxicology clearly display that chlorophyll inhibits carcinogenesis – and further research showing chlorophyll as being cancer-preventative.Researchers at Oregon State University also concluded: “At…cancer rates relevant to humans, chlorophyll was strongly protective”. Great stuff.
  • Antioxidant & Anti-inflammatory: containing high levels of the vitamins A, C and E, liquid chlorophyll has strong antioxidant capacity and has also been found to help reduce inflammation [Reference].This study from the Journal of Inflammation states: “Chlorophylls and pheophytins showed in vitro anti-oxidant activity. The study shows that chlorophyll a and its degradation products are valuable and abundantly available anti-inflammatory agents and promising for the development of phytomedicine or conventional medicine to treat inflammation and related diseases.”

    And in the Journal of Food Science, this study found that: “These results demonstrate that dietary chlorophyll derivatives prevalent in both fresh and processed foods and dietary supplements have antioxidant and antimutagenic activities.”

  • Chelation of Heavy Metals: chlorophyll is one of the most important chelates in nature. It’s ability to bind to and remove toxic heavy metals such as mercury makes it an extremely powerful healer. I’m about to have four mercury fillings removed, and you can bet that I will be getting PLENTY of chlorophyll into my body after the procedure!
  • Anti-Candida: recent research has also shown that chlorophyll is effective in fighting candida albicans – which does not surprise me. The alkaline approach has always shown itself to be great for candida and the alkaline diet is of course super-high in chlorophyll-rich foods!
  • Treats Bad Breath: This one is a real bonus and really works! Chlorophyll has a double-action remedy for bad breath. Firstly, as a deodoriser, it will eliminate odours in the mouth and throat, but secondly (and more importantly) it promotes a healthy digestive tract – which is the primary reason for bad breath. And if you need more –here is another blog post on foods for bad breath!According to Dr Phyllis A. Balch, author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements”, Alfalfa supplies chlorophyll, which cleanses the bloodstream and colon, where bad breath often begins”.

    This research summary from Oregon State University also sites a collection of studies showing chlorophyll to be a powerful internal deodorant.

  • Wound Healing & Antiseptic: while liquid chlorophyll doesn’t actually have antiseptic properties of its own, it, quite remarkably, DOES have the ability to aid our body’s tissue in destroying germs. By strengthening tissue, it increases the disease resistance of cells and, at the same time, prevents the growth of bacteria! Research also suggests that chlorophyll greatly assists in wound healing and prevention of reinfection.
  • Rapid Delivery of Magnesium: chlorophyll is rich in magnesium, which is a highly alkaline mineral and so consuming chlorophyll rich foods has a highly alkalising effect on the body. Magnesium is super-important as it helps to deliver much needed oxygen to cells and tissues, bone formation, nerve and muscle function – PLUS – magnesium is critical for our cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain all rely on magnesium for their metabolic function (source: whfoods.com).
  • Contains vitamin K, C, folic acid, iron, calcium, protein: which are all also essential in building and repairing red blood cells and boosting our immune system. [x]

And really you can get it from all good green produce! just be careful if you decide to cook your greens, b/c if you overcook them, you can denature all those helpful chlorophyll molecules. so try steaming them or not cooking them at all and putting them in a green smoothie! Consider spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella, green barely, wheatgrass, kelp or alfalfa because they have the highest concentration of chlorophyll [x] for good supplement/smoothie boosts. Or you can get some liquid chlorophyll like i got in my selfie up top and take two tablespoons. But lemme mention something to you tho…Be careful with liquid because THIS STUFF STAINS! DON’T DROP THIS SHIT. IT’S PURE PLANT LIFE, DON’T EXPECT TO GET THIS UP/OUT OF MATERIAL IF U SPILL IT! It also stains your mouth which isn’t awful, it goes away after u eat so i normally take mine before breakfast. and then brush my teeth after i take it. Or I take it before bed and then, I don’t give a fuck about having a green mouth. Normally I might take a little more before bed so I can sleep on all that cellular rejuvenation!! If you can get some unflavored, good. if not, the mint isn’t awful to me. Since you refrigerate it, it’s like a really intense mint shot in the morning and i personally find it damn refreshing…BUT YOU GOTTA DO YOU!  I’M JUST INVESTED IN Y’ALLS CELLS AND SHIT! So if you got an extra 10-15, you might want to see what’s up!  Let me know how u like it if you decide to try it. I stan it tbh.

(via talesofscienceandlove)