We were lucky enough to have a quick chat with Fred Cuellar, The Diamond Guy®, to discuss his inspiration for creating one of the most expensive toys in the world: the $2.5 Million Dollar Rubik’s Cube.
In 1995, Fred and his team of diamond cutters were working on new Super Bowl Championship rings for the Dallas Cowboys (his team has a reputation for creating unique championship rings for athletes).
After coming home from work he sat with his wife watching a VH1 80’s flashback re-run which brought the toy to his attention. The toy was touted as one of the most popular toys in the world, which instantly caught his eye.
“I remember my dad bringing home a Rubik’s cube to challenge me, I was always interested in solving puzzles.” Cuellar recounts. “I remember the humiliation of trying to solve it. It was like holding the universe in your hands, with every piece interconnected. I thought, it shouldn’t be just a plastic toy, it has to be more than that.”
Watching that episode inspired Cuellar to work on his own rendition of the iconic toy, an exact replica made of the cube made of 185 carats of precious gems and worth over $1 million dollars at the time of creation.
The first step was buying a regular Rubik’s cube and deconstructing every piece. The team at Diamond Cutters International then hand-crafted brass models of the cube to test the weight, spinning, and friction of turning the pieces. “We definitely broke a few of the brass models trying to get spinning down” Cuellar chuckles.
Next came the silver models and then the panels of color were painstakingly crafted by setting each gem into an invisible, interlocking frame to provide a continuous block of color on each side of the cube. The experience was immersive, and they would spend over 8,500 man hours building the world’s most expensive toys.
The Diamond Cube is usually hidden away from the public in a vault, but the cube will emerge on April 27, 2013 at the Genius Cubed Gala being held at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey to honor three new distinguished honorees including the creator of the Rubik’s cube,Erno Rubik. Google is the creative partner of a special exhibit called “Beyond Rubik’s Cube” which is scheduled to open in April 2014 to celebrate the cube’s 40th anniversary where the Diamond Cube is scheduled to make an appearance as well.