Diamonds may be forever, but what’s more unique and rare than even the most precious stones on Earth? The code of life, said Swiss chemist Robert Grass, the mastermind behind Identity Inside, a project that aims to create ultrapersonalized jewelry embedded with a loved one’s DNA.
The inspiration behind the custom-made baubles came from Grass’ professional work to develop technology to stabilize and store DNA. “We started playing around with the idea of what we could do with this technology.
So how does it work? First, the purchaser needs to collect saliva samples (with a cotton swab on the inside of his or her cheek). This is then sent to Grass’ lab in Switzerland, where the sample is processed and DNA is extracted and purified. The scientists add chemicals to the liquid solution containing the DNA to promote the growth of glass that “fossilizes” and encapsulates the DNA at room temperature.
Identity Inside is offering to preserve DNA within sterling silver rings, Swiss-made watches and rose gold pendants, and the project is seeking funding through Kickstarter. The campaign has currently raised more than $9,000, but Grass said he hopes to reach the project’s goal of almost $20,000 by Dec. 20.
Identity Inside is a new way of sharing something intimate and personal, which is something he said he struggled with when looking for a gift for his wife after they got married and after the birth of their child.