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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 20:07 GMT 21:07 UK
Family remembers 'diamond geezer'
Mick Egan diamond
The diamond was carried down the aisle by Mr Egan's daughter
The family of a Blackpool man who died suddenly shunned traditional memorials in favour of a novel alternative - turning him into a diamond.

Mick Egan died of a brain haemorrhage last year and his wife of 30 years, Susan, wanted a fitting memorial.

The stone took 24 weeks to create but was completed in time for her daughter Celeste's wedding - allowing her to go down the aisle with her father.

"We think he would have loved the idea," she told BBC News.

The family wanted a unique way to remember Mr Egan and turned to an American company to create the synthetic diamond.

The process involves extracting carbon from the ashes of a loved one, before heating it to extreme temperatures to convert it into graphite.

Mick Egan diamond
He's my diamond geezer now
Susan Egan

Rough diamond crystal is then created in the special presses before being cut to the family's specifications.

"We had to have a blue one because my husband's eyes are blue. I never visualised that it would be so beautiful until it arrived," said Mrs Egan.

"He is my diamond geezer now.

"It was the right thing to do and it just brings me so much comfort that I've got it now to last forever.

"He loved being the centre of attention. He could light a room up when he walked in it.

"In some respects the diamond lights up, which is a memory of how he was."

The completed diamond arrived the day before Celeste Egan was married - giving her the chance to walk down the aisle with her father.

"It was emotional but it was nice emotion because I was pleased that it had happened and that I could have something of my Dad to take down the aisle with me," she said.

"It seemed like the right thing to do for us as a family and for my Dad - we think he would have loved the idea."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Ashes turned into precious stone



SEE ALSO
Jewels made from father's ashes
08 Aug 04 |  England
Diamond memories of the dead
12 Jan 04 |  Berkshire



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