THIS is the fascinating story of the most expensive Rubik’s cube in the world.
The Masterpiece Cube is valued at just over £2 million and was created to commemorate the famous puzzle.
Released in 1995 by American jewellers Diamond Cutters International to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Rubik’s cubes, the Masterpiece features an 18-carat gold frame, decked out with precious stones.
The Sun Online spoke exclusively to Fred Cuellar, head of Diamond Cutters International and the man behind the unbelievable cube.
Fred, who has designed jewellery for presidents and created several Superbowl rings, said: “When I was a kid I was a horrible athlete…but I was great at maths and science and solving puzzles.
“That gave me solace and made me happy.”
He explained that after loving the Rubik’s cube as a child, he saw it years later on TV and was inspired to make the Masterpiece.
He recalled: “I just thought ‘that shouldn’t just be a toy, that is a masterpiece’.
“There are 43 quintillion possible combination…but the centres are fixed…it always tells the truth.
“The cube is a bit like a person, you can’t completely mess up a person.”
Fred sold the cube in 1995 for $1 million but soon after felt a terrible regret and tracked down the owner, who apparently “hated it”, to buy it back for double that in 2009.
He added: “It’s the greatest thing I ever created…it’s my Mona Lisa.
“It seems to have taken on a life of its own.”
Designed just like its more common, plastic cousin, it has six sides of different colours in a 3×3 grid of stickers.
However, the ‘stickers’ on this cube are a little more special.
Each one boasts 25 brightly-coloured precious stones set into the gold base.
Fred contacted London-based company Seven Towns Ltd, which held the brand rights to the Rubik’s cube at the time, and they agreed to collaborate on the stunning project, with the contract specifying that only one could be made.
He even paid for the cost of creating the blinged-up version himself.
The construction of the cube was, according to Fred, “horrible”.
It took an “incredible team of people” 8500 man hours to set the 1350 precious stones into the gold frame.
They had to completely reverse engineer the plastic version of the cube and had “major problems” casting the final product.
Indeed, Fred still has the prototype model, which was hand-carved out of bronze.
Asked if he ever plays with the Masterpiece Cube, Fred chuckled.
He confirmed that the cube is in fully working condition, but said: “I don’t pull it out and play with it…you don’t juggle the Mona Lisa.”