New Way to Make Money From Death
By Steve Gillman
Some of the more traditional ways to make money from death
are to become and undertaker or sell caskets or sell life insurance.
But there are some other ways which you may not have heard of.
For example, I recently ran across an intriguing company that
is in the business of turning the ashes of your loved ones into
Yes, you read that correctly. Perhaps you haven't kept up
to date on the latest in diamond manufacturing technology, but
it is now possible to create diamonds. In fact, the manufactured
ones are better in most ways than the natural ones. The fact
that this development has not crashed the diamond market has
to do with people's fascination with all things "natural."
In any case, give the technicians their carbon and they can
make a diamond with it. The carbon can come from any variety
of sources, so it only makes sense that eventually someone would
start making diamonds from the ashes of people's cremated bodies.
What if your loved one opted for a traditional embalming and
burial? In that case you can use a lock of hair.
There may be others doing it by the time you read this, but
the company I researched for this page is Life Gem from Illinois.
They offer "A certified, high-quality diamond created from
a lock of hair or the cremated ashes of your loved one as a memorial
to their unique life."
How much money do they make doing this? It is difficult to
say, since they are not a publicly traded company, but there
are clues that suggest it is a lucrative business. To start with,
there is little competition so far, so it is reasonable to suspect
that the prices they charge are high enough to yield a decent
The prices posted on their website, lifegem.com, start at
around $2,500, and go up the diamond size goes up. If you want
a full one-carat diamond made from your grandmothers ashes, for
example, it will cost you about $15,000. Mid-range in their offerings
is the diamonds that are .50 to .59 carat, which run $5,999 as
of early 2012. Of course you can have more than one diamond made.
If we assume that the average order is somewhere around $6,000
or so, and we multiply that by the "over 4,000 people"
they say have had this done, it is easy to see that sales have
been in the millions of dollars so far. That does not count the
diamonds made from the cremated remains of people's pets--another
service they offer.
Life Gem gained some notoriety for making diamond from the
hair of Ludwig van Beethoven. They even trademarked the diamonds,
calling them the "The Beethoven LifeGems®". Other
celebrity gems are on the way, and they will "tour various
museums, opera houses, and other facilities throughout the world
and then be available to the public through an online auction"
according to the website Q & A page.
As you may recall if you are a subscriber to the Unusual Ways
Newsletter (if not, the form is to the right), I have reported
on other interesting ways to make money from death. There was
the woman who sold her husband's crypt for millions of dollars,
for example, because it was just above the crypt holding the
remains of Marilyn Monroe. Here are two other interesting ways
to make money from people dying (from EveryWayToMakeMoney.com):
a Cemetery Visit for Money
From the Dead: A New Business Idea
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