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Jony Ive, Designs a Ring Carved From a Single Diamond Crystal

Sotheby's will be auctioning this Bespoke laser carved diamond ring at the (RED) auction December 5, in Miami, Florida. The expected price is between $150,000 - $250,000. This is the third (RED) auction, which was founded by Bono (U2). The theme for the auction is "Light". It is being curated this year by two renown designers: Theaster Gates (Urban designer, sculpture, & winner of the Nasher Prize for Sculpture 2018 & 2017 recipient of Legion d' Honneur and Sir David Adjaye, (designer of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History & Time magazine named 100 most influential people of 2017). The proceeds of the auction, according to the auction catalog, will be going to the fight against AIDS.

The ring is one of the many original art pieces that may be viewed in the 154 page online catalog. The creations and commissions for this auction include works from artists such as Ai Wei Wei, Christo, and Frank Gehry.

Very few things will play with "Light"as beautifully as a diamond. They do not mention this in the catalog, but I believe that the thought of "Light," which is the theme for the auction, helped to inspire the lab grown diamond ring design collaboration with famous Australian Industrial designer Marc Newson and Sir Jony Ives. These two designers claim they transform, "Raw material into objects of value." Ives is best known for his design successes for Apple.

The piece will be carved by the Diamond Foundry, a San Francisco area laboratory growing, 'certified carbon neutral diamond producer.' I think the jury is still out about how carbon neutral a lab grown diamond producer can be. They claim their massive consumption of electricity for their CVD "plasma reactors" is offset by solar power credits. I cannot find any specifications to confirm or challenge that magnanimous claim. I did find a rather disparaging claim about Tiffany & Co. on their website. They claim that Tiffany & Co. is getting their diamonds from Alrosa. I believe they should further research that claim since Tiffany & Co. gets most of their diamonds from Botswana, where they are 'ethically sourced.' This and other claims on their website created a few doubts about the accuracy of their public information.

The finished piece is expected to have between 2000-3000 facets. It will be custom made to the winning bidders ring size as long as it doesn't exceed a size 5. They do not say how large the diamond crystal will need to be grown to allow this ring to be carved. They also do not say what color or clarity the crystal will be. The carving will be done by a micrometer thick water jet through which a laser beam is cast.

They have stated in the catalog, that there will be care in making the inside of the ring smooth. I assume that is so it will be comfortable to wear. The facet edge of a diamond can be pretty sharp when drawn across bare skin. I question the level of comfort that a wearer might experience between their fingers, with those 2000-3000 facet edges, hitting the tender inside of the fingers on a hand?

Is this a beginning of a trend for lab grown diamond laboratories to make Bespoke diamond rings for the public? This is a fascinating work of diamond art, but I may have to wait until they can grow a larger crystal before I place an order. My ring size is a bit larger then a size 5.

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