A lot of people aren’t burying their deceased pets anymore – instead, they’re turning them into diamond rings! It may sound morbid, but fans say it’s the latest way to keep your pet close to you – literally.

For example, we read about one woman who hired a company to create a blue gemstone out of the remains of her Chihuahua. Another woman turned the ashes of her 2 cats into a 3-carat diamond ring.

So, how exactly do pets become gem stones? Officials with the Gemological Institute of America say that once an animal has been cremated, a jeweler can extract carbon from their hair, feathers or ashes. They heat the carbon in a special chamber set at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and under 800,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. The result? A rough diamond is produced that can be cut, shined, and set in a piece of jewelry. Prices start from $300 up to thousands of dollars depending on the stone’s color and size.

Producing a one-carat diamond requires less than a cup of ashes or hair.  And demand is so big that a whole cottage industry of pet cremation jewelers is popping up like LifeGem. They’ve created more than a-thousand animal diamonds in the last few years. From dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses and even an armadillo.

And while it might seem creepy knowing that the family golden retriever is now a diamond ring, experts say it actually will help you move on! Dr. Allen McConnell is a social psychology professor at Miami University. He says that studies show that having a physical object that represents a loved one, like a ring, helps you feel more connected to them, and it helps the grieving process.

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