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Ashes and Cremation – FAQs and Myth Busting

We are asked questions about ashes and cremation on a very regular basis, these are the most frequent:

Are ashes good for the soil?

Have little impact  small doses when thinly and evenly spread. They are not toxic. They contain phosphate which is a fertiliser but too much in one area can lead to problems. The also contain around 1% sodium which isn’t beneficial in large doses either. So when planting in the garden using ashes use Living Urn to mix with the ashes – it is 100% effective. This is their chemical composition.

Are ashes I get back just one person?

Yes, in the UK you only allowed to cremated one person at a time, the regulations are very strict on this. The exception to this is when mother and child have died in childbirth.

Do they burn the coffin with body?

Despite myths to the contrary, in the UK the coffin is burnt with the body, rules are very strict on this. So if you are opting for cremation, choose a coffin that is appropriate. For a full answer – burning the coffin with the body

Are human ashes acid or alkaline?

Cremation or Human ashes are Alkaline, this is due to the being mainly ashes from the mineral phosphate which is alkaline. Therefore ashes will to have a high pH.

Are Cremation Ashes real?

Yes cremation ashes are real, they are not like ashes from a fire, they are actually mainly the bones of a person. After cremation the major bones (eg thigh bone) will still be fairly intact. The bones and other materials (eg false knees) will be taken out from the cremator after it has finished, all metals will be removed then a machine is used to reduce them to the fine grey grit and dust substance referred to as ashes.

Are Cremation ashes diamonds real?

Yes they are real diamonds artificially created using an industrial process that requires a lot of heat and pressure. They are ‘grown’ from carbon extracted from the ashes. Each diamond is made from the same process that is used to create industrial cutting diamonds. The colour vary and they are expensive to make. Sometimes referred to as Memorial Diamonds or Ashes into Diamond

Are ashes interred or interned?

The term is actually Interred. From the verb to place a corpse (or in this case ashes) in a grave, tomb or columbarium. An example might be “she was interred in the family grave”. Synonyms for inter, bury, entomb, inurn. See our page – Interring Ashes

Is Ashes Jewellery faked?

Ours aren’t we take the utmost care to ensure that the ashes given to us are the ones that are used in jewellery piece and returned with care. I don’t know of any rogue operators out there, but can only speak for what we do. Our reputation depends on it.

What color are cremation ashes?

The colour of cremation ashes is usually light grey, individual grains with the ashes will vary in colour – white, grey, black, brown. They can vary in colour depending on the process and the temperature and what the person was wearing. They can be green, caused through leather being present when cremating.

What happen to unclaimed cremation ashes?

If at the crematorium the ashes will be scattered if unclaimed, they will attempt to notify you first. They may charge for holding onto them for you. If the funeral director has them they will tend hold onto them indefinitely, they could scatter them after a period of time but tend not to.

Can I scatter ashes anywhere?

In the UK you scatter on land where you have permission from the land owner. Some organisations say yes and some no, you can choose to scatter in your own garden if you wish. For a more complete picture – Where to scatter ashes and Permission

How soon after the service does the body get cremated?

As soon as possible, this will happen straight away if the cremator is available. Otherwise it will happen in line, but what the amount being held will happen in under 24hrs.

Can I witness the cremation?

Yes, you will need to request it and this whilst generally uncommon that people would wish to, it is certainly very common in some cultures. Hindu and Sikh families frequently request this

1 thought on “Ashes and Cremation – FAQs and Myth Busting

  1. Reply
    Richard Ehrenberg - 13th December 2022

    Very informative. Thank you.

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