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Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 9:45 a.m.

Trend of memorializing departed pets by turning them into jewelry is growing

By Lorrie Shaw


flickr photo by wapiko

The number of people that are sharing life with pets is at a historic high. There are lots of trends that reflect how important our companion animals are to us, but one that's emerging is definitely different: wearing them.

Well, sort of.

A handful of companies are offering people the ability to make their deceased pets into jewelry — diamonds, specifically.


Those who choose to do it say, 'Why not?' It's a way to not only remember the animal, but also to have a physical piece of them to hang onto.

This isn't the only way that people have chosen to memorialize Fluffy and Fido. Stuffing or freeze-drying a deceased pet has been the a way to keep them close after they're gone.

In fact, one reality show, American Stuffers, was created around giving a glimpse into one family's business that includes pet taxidermy.

As far as memorializing pets goes, the idea of turning them into jewelry might not be as far-fetched as one might think. The industry has been around for about 10 years and allowed people to have their human loved one's remains to be transformed into rings, pendants and more.

"It's a little eccentric—not something everyone would do," says Natalie Pilon of Boston. She lost her cat, Meowy last year at the age of 20.

"It's a way for me to remember my cat, and have her with me all the time."

Pilon had Meowy's cremated remains made into two blue diamonds, which were set into a ring.

So how does a pet go from their physical form that we're familiar with, to a gem?

Synthetic diamonds just like naturally occurring ones, are made of carbon. So, with carbon, pressure and a lot of heat, the result is a much-desired gem.

In the case of diamonds made from pets, it's their ashes, fur or even feathers that are the carbon source.

The lab-created variety are fabricated by simply accelerating the natural process: Graphite is produced by separating the carbon and other components the companies put that and a diamond seed crystal into a chamber that is heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and put under a high amount of pressure — about 800,000 pounds per square inch.

After a few days, the result — a rough diamond — emerges that can be cut, polished and set pretty much in any way of one's choosing.

Pilon used DNA2Diamonds to create her ring, and there are other companies like LifeGem and PetGems that have been part of the industry's growth.

The trend isn't all that surprising. With so many more people sharing life with companion animals, and the role that they play in our day-to-day lives, it would seem natural that memorializing them more actively — just as we do with our human counterparts — would become more common.

In a past interview with Colleen O'Brien, a state-licensed master social worker in the Ann Arbor area who specializes in pet grief and loss support, explained that the grief that we feel when a pet passes isn't any different than that of those loved ones on two feet who have died.

"When you love another living being, you love them," she says.

Read more about the practice of turning pets into jewels by clicking here for a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for and is a professional pet sitter. Connect with her on Google + or e-mail her directly.



Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

interesting idea. I bet it's rather expensive tho. I'll check out the links.

John Hritz

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

The Dog Whisperer, Caesar Millan, said that if reincarnation exists, he would like to come back as a pet dog or cat in America because we are unique in our tendency to treat animals like proto-humans. This sort of product capitalizes on this unrealistic viewpoint. That said, companion animals are an important part of many families and I can understand (to some extent) the grief that comes with the loss of a pet. I wonder if a better use of the money would be to make a donation to the Humane Society or adopt a rescue after your period of mourning.