This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 23, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: When a loved one passes away, we usually keep their memory alive in our hearts. But would you want your loved one's remains turned into a piece of jewelry? A Chicago area company called LifeGem Memorials has figured out how to create diamonds, yes, diamonds, made from cremated human remains. The gems can be mounted and they can be made into jewelry. Joining me us now with a sample of the jewels is Greg Herro. He is the CEO of LifeGems.
And Greg, welcome.
GREG HERRO, CEO, LIFEGEM MEMORIALS: Thank you.
KEENAN: A very unusual story. First of all, I know you have a patent pending on these stones and the process to make them. How did you come up with this idea?
HERRO: Well, as you can imagine, you know, if you have enough people together you can do any type of focus group and we certainly began our own focus group and then certainly did a formal focus group to determine whether or not everyone was satisfied with the existing memorial options that were out there today. And what we found was the existing memorial options are not personalized and individualized enough for today's society.
KEENAN: But wouldn't most people rather just wear a piece of jewelry from their mother, their grandmother, something that has sentimental value already, and it just adds to it when that person passes away?
HERRO: Well, they have not ever before today or yesterday known that a LifeGem was possible, that they could have a LifeGem Memorial diamond created from the carbon of their loved one. So as the most personal and beautiful memorial option available, I think that people are really going to enjoy this. And our polls are certainly showing that.
KEENAN: Well, how demand now that you are able to create stones, and I think you have a couple with you, how much demand have you seen for the product?
HERRO: Well, it has been absolutely incredible. I must say, with we have done many polls and we've seen polls on FOZ rating a 65 percent. And our demand, although been exactly what we expected, based on our forecast, it is extremely high.
KEENAN: Have religious groups had any problem with this, expressed opposition?
HERRO: Well, they haven't really expressed opposition, we do know there are many religious groups out there that have their own values. And we are certainly not imposing upon their values. LifeGem is aimed for those who their religious beliefs are in line with this.
KEENAN: Let's talk about cost here. Because this is not inexpensive even as diamonds go. A karat stone will cost you more than $20,000, right?
HERRO: That's correct.
KEENAN: And why so expensive? and does that hurt demand? I would assume it would.
HERRO: Well, we have we put 3 1/2 years into the development of this product. And it has not only been the process of collecting, purifying and creating a diamond, but it's also tracking and making sure that everything goes as planned. There is a lot of care and attention that needs to be placed on our families so they are assured they get what they get what they need.
KEENAN: We have some information on the process, it's a process that took a long time for you to, I guess, come up with and patent. And I hate to bring this up but a lot people lose jewelry all of the time and are heartbroken when they even lose their high school ring. I would think that would be a big factor here of concern.
HERRO: Well, it is, it is a actor of concern, and that's why we store any excess carbon that we collect so that in the event that does happens we are able to recreate the LifeGem of their loved one.
KEENAN: All right. I guess you've thought of everything, thanks, Greg.
HERRO: Thank you.
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