If you pay taxes in New Mexico, part of what you sent to the state is now going to help an unusual new industry.
The industry, under the name “Parting Stone,” was recently given a $175,000 state economic development grant through the Local Economic Development Act to make sure the start-up business flourishes at its location in Santa Fe.
What the company does is produce rocks. Well, not just any rocks. They are “memorial stones” made from ashes of persons who have been cremated after their death.
The process of solidifying ashes left behind in the cremation process was made possible through technology developed by the Los Almos National Laboratory. About 40 smooth white stones are created from the ashes of an average adult human.
The president of the company, Justin Crowe, says the stones are better for the environment than randomly scattering ashes around. And, he says, they “provide something beautiful” for the loved ones of the deceased to hold or display.
So if you resisted the “Pet Rocks” fad a few years ago, here’s a way to make up for missing out on it. You’ll just have to wait for Uncle Vern to kick the bucket.