Apple design chief Jony Ive often speaks about his fascination with understanding different materials as part of the design process, and his latest project may just be the ultimate example …

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Most designers, when tasked with creating a diamond ring, would start with metal – typically gold, silver or platinum – and then set one or more diamonds within it. But Jony Ive and Marc Newson took a very different approach. The only material in their (RED) Diamond Ring is … diamond.

Auction house Sotheby’s said that the ring was created exclusively for the (RED) Auction, raising funds to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in eight African countries.

Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, and renowned industrial designer Marc Newson – having curated the (RED) auction five years ago – have, this year, designed a unique ring, made exclusively for (RED) by Diamond Foundry®. 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.

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 gemstone will be created by Diamond Foundry®, the certified carbon neutral diamond producer who has pioneered and developed the proprietary technology to form diamonds safely and sustainably.

It will be made to size for the buyer, and is estimated to sell for something in the $150-250k range. The auction takes place in Miami on December 5.


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