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New Way to Make Money From Death


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 diamonds.

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 profit.

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):

Do a Cemetery Visit for Money

Letters From the Dead: A New Business Idea

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