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value of ashes


Ashes are priceless – this is true, pretty much one of the only things that can said to be truly priceless. When the expression is used more generally say a family heirloom – there is a price, because when they are lost insurance companies find a price – and they don’t pay sentimental value. But that is all ashes are.

Ashes are different to different people: for some they would be the first thing to take if the house was burning down. Others care so little that they will leave them at the funeral directors.

The reasoning is complex some consider them to be meaningless: they do not represent the person they are merely the last vestiges of what remains of the body. In fact, according to a recent YouGov Survey* 20% of people attach no value to ashes at all.

So that mean that 80% do attach value to them even if it is emotionally complex, I was speaking to a widow recently and she told me that her husband’s ashes were in the garage, then she quickly followed up the statement by saying: ‘it is carpets you know’ – I understood what she was doing- she did not want them in house (many people don’t) but she wanted to show due respect.

I think this complexity of value is also the reason that the Royal Mail and other courier companies won’t carry ashes – because what do you pay someone if they go missing, which whist extremely rare does happen. Just before Hermes banned them there was a case where the driver was delivering and while he was out the car someone nipped into his car in a drove off, the car was never seen again and neither was the contents. What do you compensate someone for that? ‘Oh, madam we have some replacement ashes for you – no one wanted these ones’ – doesn’t work.

Interestingly now that we run the Algordanza Memorial Diamonds we are having many more different conversations. A gentlemen asked recently: when I have the diamond made – what will they be worth? What do you say? There is no answer, they are priceless to the owner and low in market value because who else apart from a family member would want them?

For me it is each to his or her own. Personally, I think they do carry meaning, not in a clear definable way that is applicable to equally to everyone. They mean different things to different people – even the same set of ashes. So yes I think they are Price Less.


*courtesy of





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