Eterneva Review – Diamonds Created From Lost Ones. Is it a scam?
This Eterneva review will be a little different than our other reviews. We stumbled upon Eterneva while doing research and learned that they offer to create diamonds in the lab from lost ones. This reminded us of the same service that Ada Diamonds used to offer (but don’t anymore). Since we are one of the leading sites on lab-grown diamonds and we are firm believers in the many benefits of lab-created diamonds over mined, we wanted to take a closer look.
The idea is not new, nor is it unique. Several companies before Eterneva have sought to create diamonds from cremation ashes, including LifeGem. And several other companies offer the same service.
What makes Eterneva unique is the hype surrounding the company. It’s being touted as a tech startup, and their appearance on the TV show Shark Tank led to famous billionaire investor Mark Cuban parting with $600,000 for a stake in their company. Since, Eterneva has raised $10 million, led by Tiger Management (affiliated with the tech startup VC fund Tiger Global).
Eterneva has clearly managed to brand itself better than its competitors, even if its business model does not differ and if they are a late-comer to the game. They are likely more talented marketers and better at executing than their peers.
But, how does Eterneva fare as a lab-grown diamond company? In this Eterneva review, we’ll take a deeper look and assess their business, value proposition, diamond quality, and price levels.
- Eterneva history – who are Eterneva?
- Eterneva diamond quality
- Eterneva diamond prices
- Eterneva diamond certification
- Eterneva diamond buying process
- Summary of Eterneva review – diamonds created from lost ones
Eterneva history – who are Eterneva?
Adelle Archer and Garrett Ozar founded Eterneva in 2017 after working together at BigCommerce. Adelle had lost a close friend and, being a guardian of her ashes, looked for a way to remember her through her remains. That led her to the idea of creating something from the cremated remains, in her case, using the carbon atoms to create an everlasting diamond.
While this idea was certainly not new, perhaps Adelle and business partner Garrett did not come across any of the existing companies turning ashes into diamonds. Or maybe they felt that the existing companies did not have a good enough offering. Whatever happened, they decided to create a(nother) company that turns cremation ashes into lab-grown diamonds.
After appearing on the TV show Shark Tank, pitching their idea to the celerity investors, they landed an investment from Mark Cuban. The investment, and, perhaps even more so, the national TV exposure, allowed Eterneva to grow quickly and attract the attention of more investors. Their latest investment round of $10 is undoubtedly impressive, and so is the list of investors they have onboard (besides Mr. Cuban).
A large portion of that capital will likely be put towards marketing, and we should therefore expect to hear more about Eterneva in the future. So how far has Eterneva come until now?
Eterneva has created almost 1,500 diamonds for over 1,000 customers, according to their website. Eterneva not only creates diamonds from human remains but also from pets, and today, pets are about 40% of Eterneva’s business.
They can create both white (colorless) diamonds and most other fancy colored diamonds, including black, yellow, blue, orange, and green. The starting price for an Eterneva diamond is $3,000 and increases with size and color (colored diamonds, generally being more expensive).
Is Eterneva legit?
The company Eterneva is a real business that produces diamonds in the lab from the remains of loved ones. Eterneva is a legit company famously backed by billionaire investor Mark Cuban. Eterneva appeared on the TV show Shark Tank, where they secured investment from Mark Cuban. While Eterneva is a legitimate business, it is debatable whether the process of creating lab-grown diamonds from the ashes of a deceased is legit or a scam.
Is Eterneva a scam?
Eterneva as a company is not a scam. However, some critics argue that the remains from cremation are far from sufficient to create a diamond. It is yet to be proven that diamonds are actually made from cremation ashes. While Eterneva is partnering with TDI-Brooks / B&B Laboratories and has a well-known expert in lab-grown diamonds, Dr. Robert E. Chodelka, on their advisory board, lending some credibility to Eterneva and their cremation diamonds.
Next in our Eterneva review, we’ll assess the diamond quality. We’ll do this as with any lab-grown diamond review but we’re of course acutely aware that what Eterneva offers is very different compared to your typical jeweler.
Eterneva diamond quality
If you have read any of our lab-grown diamond reviews or our lab-grown diamond guides, you will have learned that lab-grown diamond quality is incredibly important. Lab diamond quality is precisely the same as with mined diamonds, and it’s assessed in the same way by the same grading institutes. There is absolutely no difference between mined and lab-grown diamonds except for how they were made – and mined diamonds’ negative impact on the environment and society.
The most important factor is the diamond cut, which is essential for the incredible sparkle that well-cut diamonds can have. However, if a diamond is not cut well, it’ll be as dull as a tired piece of glass. So always buy diamonds with the highest possible diamond cut grade (usually ideal or excellent). This is the case no matter where the carbon atoms came from.
Other factors included in diamond grading are diamond clarity, diamond color, and diamond carat weight. Learn more about the characteristics of the diamond 4Cs and tips for buying the perfect diamond.
Eterneva does not list the quality of their diamonds. Instead, they “guarantee your diamond will meet the minimum carat weight you ordered and be free of visible inclusions.” This, generally, refers to diamond clarity only, and typically the quality that is “free of visible inclusions,” also referred to as eye-clean, is graded VS1-2 or higher. It’s unclear, however, if that is what Eterneva refers to.
What is also unclear is the diamond cut quality and the color grades. As written above, we recommend only buying the highest grade diamond cut, while for white diamonds, you can sometimes compromise a little and go for diamond graded colors H to I.
Eterneva does list the diamond carat weights along with their prices, however, they use relatively large bands. We’ll take a closer look at Eterneva’s prices in the next section of the Eterneva review.
Eterneva diamond prices
Eterneva diamonds are not cheap. In fact, they cost 10-15 times more than an equivalent lab-grown diamond created from other carbon atoms. That’s due to the process of creating a particular diamond from particular materials. Read more about why Eterneva diamonds are so expensive below.
Are Eterneva diamonds worth it?
Whether Eterneva diamonds are worth it really depends on how you view them. As diamond gemstones, they are hugely expensive and far more expensive than other lab-grown diamonds on the market. However, it’s difficult to assess the value as memorabilia as this will be very personal. If you have the funds, then perhaps Eterneva diamonds are worth it. On the other hand, if you struggle to afford an Eterneva diamond or maybe have to take out a loan, we suggest you find a better way to honor your lost ones. They would very likely approve of your decision to spend your money wisely.
Are Eterneva diamonds expensive?
Assessed as a gemstone, Eterneva diamonds are very expensive. They cost from $3,000 and up to $50,000 for a 3-carat diamond. Their 1-carat colorless diamond costs $16,000. An excellent quality 1-carat diamond from Ritani or Clean Origin would cost around $1,000. So Eterneva diamonds are expensive, but if you value the idea of someone’s ashes being turned into a diamond, then an Eterneva diamond may be worth it for you.
Why are Eterneva diamonds so expensive?
Eterneva diamonds are so expensive because they are making just one diamond from limited materials and that those exact carbons must make a decent quality diamond. Even in the controlled environment of a laboratory, diamonds do not always end up perfect. In fact, many lab-grown diamonds are of a quality we would not recommend. Many of these are used as accent stones where the quality matters a little less. Another reason why Eterneva’s diamonds are so expensive is that they also have to be cut to a certain quality. Usually, some diamond cutting might not go well. And that’s ok. They’ll be sold at a lower cost or used as accent stones. However, with Eterneva diamonds, they cannot afford to fail. That adds a lot of risks, which in turn translates into higher costs. Another costly part of the diamond creation process is the purification of the ashes into carbon atoms that can be used for the diamond growing. This not only takes 4-6 weeks but adds a lot of costs. In addition, we also suspect that Eterneva adds a pretty hefty markup. Perhaps that’s why they have attracted so much venture capital.
Eterneva diamond certification
Independent certification of diamonds is incredibly important. Without it, you’re left with the sellers’ or diamond manufacturers’ claims but nothing else. It’s not uncommon that diamonds are sold without a certificate, often with pre-set diamond jewelry, but we highly recommend against buying any uncertified diamond (unless it’s a small accent stone). Some manufacturers grade diamonds themselves, including Diamond Foundry, which you can read about in our review of Vrai, their retail arm. The same goes for DeBeers’ lab-grown diamond brand, which you can read about in our Lightbox Jewelry review.
Eterneva also grades and certifies Eterneva diamonds to prove authenticity. They work with IGI, the leading grading institute for grading lab-grown diamonds. That’s a big plus. However, not knowing, at least, the approximate quality of the diamond is a problem.
Eterneva diamond buying process
The process of buying a diamond at Eterneva is, of course, very different from how you would normally buy diamonds and diamond jewelry. Instead, the process starts with you contacting Eterneva and telling them about yourself and your lost one.
Then, Eterneva will send you a collection kit against a $100 deposit. You’ll return the professional collection kit with part of your lost one’s remains, which they will then purify. Before that, you’ll decide on the color of the diamond and the approximate size.
That’s it. As we have written above in our Eterneva review, you can’t choose diamond quality, clarity, or color grade. You also don’t decide on the jewelry until later in the process, which we think is fine. It’s a delicate process and perhaps you’ll need to time process the grief and decide on jewelry later.
Eterneva’s customer service is fairly good. They’re responsive and courteous, however not entirely helpful when it comes to diamond quality assessment. Perhaps that’s fair given the slightly different take on the diamond buying process. However, generally speaking, we think they should be much more transparent about the diamond quality and what you should expect.
Summary of Eterneva review – diamonds created from lost ones
Our Eterneva review found that while they are not a first mover and not the only company in the market that creates lab-grown diamonds from lost ones, they are probably the most hyped. Do they live up to the hype?
Assessed as a diamond gemstone, Eterneva is prohibitively expensive, and the 10-15X multiplier on the price compared to a “regular” lab-grown diamond may not be worth it. At the end of the day, it depends on the value you put on creating diamonds from a lost one’s ashes.
The quality of the Eterneva diamonds is difficult to assess. This is because Eterneva does not list the diamond quality that they offer. They only tell you the expected size. And that’s probably because they cannot tell you upfront what the quality will be. Even in a controlled lab environment, it’s impossible to guarantee a certain quality.
However, we think that Eterneva should at least list a range of diamond cuts, clarity, and color. And we also think that they should carry the risk of how the diamond stone turns out. Thus, their pricing could be contingent on the quality of the diamond stone that they produce. That seems fairer to us.
As we noted above, we only recommend you consider an Eterneva diamond if you have discretionary funds (and a lot of them) and that your purchase of Eterneva diamonds does not impact your personal finances. If it does, spend your money on better things and find another way to remember your lost one. We’re sure they would agree. But, on the other hand, if purchasing an Eterneva diamond does not dent your finances, then perhaps it could be a worthwhile way of remembering someone special.