Pets: Trend of memorializing departed pets by turning them into jewelry is growing
flickr photo by wapiko
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.
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.