LifeGem Memorials has been creating diamonds incorporating the remains of human beings since 2002, usually for family members. The company combines carbon from the cremated remains with other minerals to form a diamond under intense pressure and heat.
The company has acquired several strands of Beethoven's hair from John Reznikoff, a Connecticut-based collector of celebrity hair. They will be turned into three diamonds of under a carat. The diamonds will then be sold at auction, with the proceeds going to military families.
The company plans to make diamonds from more hair in Reznikoff's collection—which also includes hair from Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, and Charles Dickens—and perhaps eventually convince living celebrities to donate their own hair for charity.