The largest crematorium in Switzerland has started selling precious metal nuggets that have been extracted from cremated bodies.
Nordheim crematorium has installed technology that filters gold, silver and platinum from the ashes of human bodies.
Six thousand people are cremated at the facility every year and a third of these are said to be opting for the innovative use of their ashes.
Scroll down fo video
Cremation fires reach temperatures of up to 700°C (1,292°F) and the heavy metals are the only materials to survive the immense heat.
The crematorium has now installed a specialist filtration system which extracts the gold, silver and platinum nuggets from the ashes.
These valuable remnants of a human body are then sold to recycling firms for profit.
Profits of this endeavour are currently being diverted into state coffers and are expected to earn the city of Zurich 100,000 Swiss francs (£78,000) every year.
Some people have claimed that the families of the deceased should receive the financial benefit from the valuable metals, but for now they are set to be returned to the state.
The programme is not compulsory and people can opt out at any time, but one third of people cremated in September decided to go ahead with the programme.
The only other crematorium in Switzerland to employ the same technique is in a town called Solothurn, located between Basel and Bern.
It has made 40,000 Swiss francs (£31,000) a year by recycling the precious metals, according to a report in Swiss daily Blick.
Not all crematoriums in the region are set to follow suit, with crematoria in St Gallen, Aarau and Basel stating they will not adopt the filtration technique.
‘The ashes belong entirely to the relatives, not the crematoria or the state,’ Ursula Lauper, a spokeswoman for St Gallen’s crematorium said.