Artist Teresa Margolles creates stone from remains of burnt building.

A Mexican artist who moved to the UK shortly before last year’s riots in London, Manchester and Birmingham has created a .75ct lab-grown diamond from the carbon-rich ashes of a building torched in Croydon.

The diamond was unveiled as part of Glasgow’s International Festival of Visual Art, which began yesterday, and will be on show at the city’s Sculpture Studios.


Margolles expressed her surprise at how the riots took place in "such a rich country" and is said to have travelled to Croydon, one of the worst-affected areas for arson during the riots – where she gathered ashes and burnt wood from torched shops in the town.

The .75ct diamond has been made as "a memorial to the riots", and was created using the HPHT process typically used to transform human or animal ashes into diamonds using lab techniques.

Margolles told the Herald Scotland paper: "I wanted to witness what was happening and when I had witnessed it, I wanted to create a memorial of the event, an important event that needs to be remembered.

"I had the idea that every event of this kind needs to be remembered, and as they say, a diamond is forever."