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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 August, 2004, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Jewels made from father's ashes
Mrs Tandy (centre) and her two daughters
The family chose which settings in which to mount the diamonds
Synthetic diamonds made from the ashes of a British man are to be set into jewellery so they can be worn by his family.

Brian Tandy's ashes were sent to the US by LifeGem, based in Hove, Sussex, and turned into gems for his wife Lin and daughters Gayle, 25, and Claire, 21.

Mrs Tandy, 51, from Reading, Berkshire, returned to LifeGem on Saturday for help to get the diamonds set in rings.

The company went with her to a Brighton jewellers to advise on the process.

It is a very essence of the person you have lost - it is a mobile memorial that never has to leave your side
David Hampson, LifeGem
The geologist's ashes were heated and pressurised to produce the gem.

The process produces a raw crystal which is then polished and shaped.

Mrs Tandy's 2,250 pale yellow diamond was the first produced by the company.

She ordered further pieces for her daughters so they can remember their father who died from heart failure in April 2003.

Mrs Tandy said: "It was a very personal memorial to my husband.

The two diamonds for Mrs Tandy's daughters
The diamonds will be set in rings for Mrs Tandy's daughters

"It was a very emotional decision to have it done and it was something we did not take lightly.

"We thought about it for a long time and they (her daughters) just wanted something very personal for their dad.

"Every diamond is individual and unique and that was so appropriate for their father.

"It was something they can keep close to them and be a constant reminder."

David Hampson, chief executive of LifeGem, said: "Cremated remains consist partially of carbon so what we do is extract the carbon, purify it then put in a commercial diamond press and grow a synthetic diamond.

"But it is a synthetic diamond with a specific carbon source which is your loved one.

"It is a very essence of the person you have lost - it is a mobile memorial that never has to leave your side.

"What we have found is that it gives a lot of people a great deal of comfort and solace."

Diamond memories of the dead
12 Jan 04  |  Berkshire
Ashes turned into diamonds
22 Aug 02  |  Americas
Husband's ashes turned to diamond
07 Jun 04  |  Berkshire

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