It used to be making gemstones out of cremated remains was the new thing. Now the DNA of a loved one can be made into a highly personalized piece of jewelry.
Australian Mike McKew started My Gene Jewel in 2013, shortly after he graduated from university. He attended the NFDA convention as a first-time exhibitor.
My Gene Jewel first obtains a hair sample. A laboratory extracts the DNA from the hair follicles, purifies the DNA and tags it with specialized colors. The colors highlight the DNA, which is then injected into a clear liquid and allowed to set.
The family chooses which colors they want the DNA to incorporate, and what style of jewelry they’d like. The DNA itself affects the pattern within the finished jewel. The DNA is rendered unusable after it is made into jewelry, so don’t do this if you want to save some genes for medical or genetic research.
My Gene Jewel is a service that a funeral director can offer to a family as a remembrance of the deceased. Since all hair is destroyed during cremation, someone at the funeral home collects hair samples prior to the final disposition.
The company website says that all profits go to cutting edge research into genetic diseases.
In this video, Mike McKew shows some of the colorful creations made with DNA encased in gems. Learn more at www.MyGeneJewel.com.
Recorded at the 2014 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Convention and Expo in Nashville, Tennessee by Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®, host and author of the award-winning TV show and book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die.