You know Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson right? Just the most prolific designers of their age, working as design heads in the most profitable company in the world, Apple. Ive and Newson have altered how we treat consumer electronics, making us revere them as objects of fashion, and their latest design project may be less electronics and more fashion, but it echoes a sensibility and sensitivity that has for long been a culture within Apple.
Apple has been an integral part of RED (a nonprofit organization that partners with the iconic brands to raise money to fight HIV / AIDS in Africa through the Global Fund), designing special products for RED that contribute to RED’s fight against HIV and AIDS. You may remember the special RED edition iPhones from the past, or the special-edition Leica M that Ive and Newson designed which sold for a cool $1.8 million at RED’s auction.
Ive and Newson’s contribution to RED this year is a diamond ring, made in collaboration with Diamond Foundry®. Designed by the duo, the ring is different from most diamond rings, in the sense that it is 100% diamond. The ring is made from the diamond gemstone itself and doesn’t feature any metal or other gemstones. “Consistent with their mutual obsession with transforming raw material into objects of value, Ive & Newson’s design is singular, clear and un-compromised by the traditional metal settings and bands that have previously been required to create ‘diamond rings’. Theirs will be created by removing material rather than adding – an ambition made possible by the extraordinary scale of the stone which will enable the ring to be completely made of this material.” said auction house Sotheby’s.
“Creating a ring-shaped diamond is no small feat; the diamond block will be faceted with several thousand facets, some of which are as small as several hundred micrometers. The interior ring will be cylindrically cut out for the desired smoothness using a micrometer thick water jet inside which a laser beam is cast. The finished ring will have between 2000-3000 facets which has never been seen before on a single piece.”
The ring, which will be crafted by Diamon Foundry will be sold at the RED auction in Miami on the 5th of December (with a price range of $150-250K) and will be made to the size specifications of the buyer. Pretty unique, no? The ring doesn’t have a gemstone. The ring IS the gemstone!
Only a handful of men have ever walked on the Moon, and a very limited amount of soil and rock samples have ever returned to Earth. The rarity of these samples means that the vast majority of them are owned by the US and Russian governments – as the two nations that put men on the moon. On one visit to the Moon in 1970, Russian astronauts collected samples, and brought them home.
On return, some small soil samples were gifted to a woman called Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, widow of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, who was previously head of the Soviet space program. Now, the samples are up for auction.
The tiny samples are encased under glass with an adjustable lens that can be used for viewing on what appears to be a metal plate with Russian writing on the front. The writing translates to “Soil Particles from Luna-16.” The particles have been identified by scientists as a basaltic central fragment with feldspar crystals, surficial debris called regolith, and glass coatings caused by micro-meteorite impact. Tests show that they contain more than 70 elements and are dated approximately 3.4 billion years old.
As the only known sample of lunar soil in private hands along with the provenance to back it up, these are very valuable. In fact, they last sold at auction in 1993 for $442,500. That buyer is now selling them again and the samples are expected to fetch between $700,000 and $1 million at a Sotheby’s auction called “Space Exploration,” taking place in New York on November 29.