Watch an expert jeweler transform his AirPods into an 18-karat gold AirGolds [video]September 3, 2019
Many people decorate their AirPods with creative skins for the charging case (those have been going particularly strong in South Korea). But if you want something more sophisticated, more premium and more luxurious than that, you need to be prepared to burn hundreds of dollars on pricey modding services provided by accessory customization companies, like Caviar.
As a poor blogger, I’ll never save enough money to treat myself to a nice pair of gold–plated earphones from Apple, but that’s not stopping me from watching skilled jeweler Pablo Cimadevila take his regular AirPods and turning them into 18-karat gold versions.
AirGolds, as he’s calling them, are not for sale.
“The idea of turning AirPods into gold is inspired by the ‘Think Different’ campaign, the advertising slogan Apple used from 1997 to 2002,” the author wrote. “The slogan has been widely taken as a response to IBM’s slogan ‘Think’. It was used in a television advertisement, several print advertisements and several TV promos for Apple products.”
I’ve always been fascinated with ultra-precise manual work. To me, this video is like watching an artisan or an extremely skilled watchsmith perform their thing. Keep in mind that Pablo had to deconstruct his AirPods, then apply the ancient lost-wax casting process before coating them in gold and putting them together again — all without breaking the miniature earbuds.
It’s also a reminder of a dying trade in today’s world of automation and mass production.
But how the hell did Pablo coat those plastic AiPods with 1,800-degree 18-karat alloy?
Look closely and you’ll realize he first put a plaster “ring” with the attached runners and sprue into the furnace in order to burn out the plastic enclosure. Only then could he proceed to allowing the molten alloy to flow into an AirPods-shaped structure.
According to Larry Medugorac:
After the alloy solidifies cooling, he then put the whole thing into a water solution where the plaster ring dissolves and nothing is left but the casting. The casting now needs to be separated from the runners and sprue to be hand finished, reassembled and demo’ed by the creative and skillful artist he is.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider dressing up your AirPods case in Twelve South’s chic leather cases (available in several attractive colors) or Nomad’s rugged cases.
Not a fan of those? How about the AirPods case skins from Slickwraps?
Thoughts on Pablo’s skills?
Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comments down below!