The Salem Diamonds
The Salem Diamonds is a proposal for a memorial that consists of 3,489 diamonds weighing .2 carats individually and 697.8 carats collectively. The diamonds would be created from the cremains of 3,489 deceased, mentally ill patients, still unclaimed and kept in storage at The Oregon State Hospital. See the cover story from the New York Times printed on March 14, 2005.
Magid presented The Salem Diamonds to the Memorial Committee at the Oregon State Senate in Salem, Oregon on May 8, 2006.
The piece consists of 3,489 Swarovski crystals, to be replaced by diamonds. During the generative period, crystals hold the diamonds' place. As diamonds are created they replace their crystal counterparts. Each will bear an inscription: the patient's file number, as was pressed upon his urn, etched microscopically into its girdle.
The memorial is a collective effort to bring to bring 3,489 people out of the closet and into the light.