Letter: Death benefits with bite

Extrapolate the B.C. death figure and that annual worth [of deceased's gold crowns] is more than $433,000.

To the editor:

I went to complete my funeral arrangements the other day. I have concise wishes: One wish is to have my solid gold crowns removed prior to cremation and passed along to my executor.

The funeral director informed me they didn’t do that but I could hire a dentist for $1,500 to do it prior to cremation. He also poohed-poohed the actual worth and casually mentioned $200 to $300 at most; not worth the effort. He laughed a bit too hard which got me thinking.

My four solid gold molar crowns were done well before the price of gold reached its zenith today and they are substantial.

According to 2014-2015 federal records (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo07a-eng.htm) there were 268,056 deaths in Canada. For arguments sake, say five per cent of those people had one solid gold crown and, using a value of $250, that gives a worth of more than $3,350,700! Each year, every year and increases as deaths increase and the value of gold increases.

Extrapolate the B.C. death figure and that annual worth is more than $433,000.

Not worth the effort? Indeed. Someone must be harvesting that gold. But who? Today, when one corporation or individual owns and controls a broad swath of like or varied small and large businesses, maybe one entity is benefiting.

Then I started to think about the titanium and other precious metal body components. They are very valuable and there are probably more of them than gold crowns. Again, who benefits from recycling that material after cremation? Do they incinerate, completely leaving nothing to recycle?

I provided instructions to my executor and the means to have my crowns removed prior to cremation. My beneficiary can decide how to recycle them as they are the only person entitled to [manage the proceeds of my estate after] my death.

Patrick Olenick, West Kelowna