Billionaire’s ashes to diamonds company slammed as a ‘scam’
Billionaire Mark Cuban is punching back against a gem expert who called one of his companies "nothing more than a scam".
In October, a company called Eterneva - which claims to turn loved ones' ashes into diamonds - appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in the US.
The founders convinced Mr Cuban to buy 9 per cent of the business for $US600,000 ($A859,650).
But shortly after the episode aired, gemologist Grant Mobley claimed to Page Six Style that the company was not what it seemed.
"It is a shame to see that Cuban agreed to invest in Eterneva," Mr Mobley, who is also head of US trade for the Diamond Producers Association, said at the time.
"Companies like Eterneva that claim to make synthetic diamonds out of human ashes have been around for more than a decade.
"But after further research into the process, it has become well known within the jewellery industry that these companies are nothing more than a scam."
Mr Mobley claimed there was no way there could be enough carbon left after a cremation to make a diamond - so when grieving families pay "much more than the cost of a natural diamond of the same size and quality" for rocks from Eterneva and companies like it, they're "left with a synthetic diamond that has no value and no ties to the ashes of a loved one".
But now the billionaire investor - who has an estimated net worth of $US4.1 billion - has returned fire, telling Page Six "the technology is backed by rock-solid science".
The company told the publication it had worked with multiple third-party chemistry labs, and tests had shown "on average (there's) 1 to 4 per cent carbon content (in the ashes), which is more than enough to grow a diamond".
Cuban said despite the controversy, "one of the deals I was most excited about closing from this season of Shark Tank is Eterneva".
"I'm a big believer in their product … I'm such a fan that I decided to get my wife Eterneva diamonds for Christmas. I can't say enough good things about Eterneva," he said.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission