Friday, July 11, 2008

Deadly Vanity !

I came across this news item in today's The Hindu. It was rather amusing to read. I have emphasized certain portions.

Swiss firm brings back the dead - as diamonds

At the end of their days, most people end up six feet under or up in flames, but some are spending eternity as sparkling diamonds, thanks to a peculiar chemical transformation.

For a fee, a company called Algordanza in the eastern Swiss canton of Graubuenden offers a service to turn ashes into precious stones.

Every month it gets 40 to 50 commissions - some from as far away as Japan.

Rinaldo Willy, 28, one of two co-founders of Algordanza, said 500g of ashes was enough to make a diamond, while a human body leaves behind about 2.5kg of ashes.

Potassium and calcium, which makes up some 85% of the ashes, are first separated from the carbon. The carbon is then subject to extremely high pressure and heat - 1 700ÂșC - a process which compresses it into graphite, a carbon allotrope, or structurally different form of carbon.

More pressure and heat are applied to the graphite to turn it into diamonds. The entire process takes six to eight weeks, hardly a fraction of the time it takes for the formation of natural diamonds, which takes thousands of years.

"Each diamond is unique - the colour varies from dark blue to almost white," said Willy. "It's a reflection of the personality."

2 comments:

Mavin said...

Hi Krish,

Thanks for dropping by and appreciate your comment.

I am a tentative toddler in this vast e-universe and still finding my steps.

Great experience so far.

You have a nice site and stuff on. Just read your post on diamonds from ashes. Is it true - Sounds like straight out of Ripley's Believe or Not.

Formed diamonds in 6 - 8 weeks...wow!!!!

Will read through your other posts soon.

Cheers!!!

Gopinath's "Artickles" said...

Hi Krishnan,

You have a nice blog! Poetry, music and your thoughts on things happening around. You can become a diamond after you die, great! But with many faces of creativity, man can be a multifaceted diamond even before he dies, isn't it?