12th May 1999
This is the day I first had the idea to transform a regular Skewb into another puzzle which would also be a cube. Initially I was going to have the lines of rotation symmetrical. However I eventually decided on just two rules.
1- A line of rotation would go diagonally through the cube.
2- The solved puzzle would be the equivalent to the interior Skewb mechanism partly turned and vice versa. See photo below. This would greatly confuse solving.
I am not going into the exact sculpting process but I constructed the puzzle in two parts. Each would be a half cube so I wouldn't have to worry about the 'part turn' when sculpturing. The first half was made pretty randomly and I had no idea how big the puzzle would be. I did however try to keep it as small as possible. After I had completed one half I made the part turn and sculptured the second half. This was much more controlled since it had to line up with the first. During this process I noticed that one 'Skewb' corner piece was looking almost symmetrical. I realised that this could add an extra solving problem. During the final shaping I was able to get this piece 100% symmetrical and it became a perfect equilateral triangle of consistent thickness.
Because the piece is this shape, during solving it has no obvious correct orientation. You can't see which way round it should go. Unless you are an experienced solver you might say "so what"? Well if it's in the wrong way round, Towards the end of a solve 66% of the time it will appear that another single 'Skewb' corner needs rotating. This is impossible so the solver would have to find this symmetrical piece and rotate it before the puzzle can be completed.
When the long process of sculpturing the pieces was finished I now owned a complete set of polyester resin masters. From these masters I made remeltable rubber (Gelflex) moulds and cast dyed polyester resin parts. You can see this process in my construction photos which I put together in a video here.
21st Sept 1999
This is the day I finished my first Golden Cube (excluding the stickers). I was very pleased with the puzzle but had no idea how I would colour it or what to call it. Using normal Rubik's Cube style stickers seemed a bit boring and it would also make it far easier than I intended. Since this was supposed to be the ultimate Skewb transformation I started thinking about the best possible colour schemes. With the new millennium only a few months away I started thinking of names like Tony Fisher's Millennium Cube and perhaps making the thing completely gold coloured without any stickers. For several days I experimented. I tried to mix various metal dust (not gold though) into the resin and wanted to see if I could make it look like a lump of gold. After a while I gave up on this and decided gold stickers on black plastic would have to do.
Over the next few weeks I cast several copies of the puzzle though I still hadn't actually added any stickers yet. The new Millennium came and went and the name was no longer appropriate. It became fairly obvious to simply name it Tony Fisher's Golden Cube. More pictures of the original can be found here.
15th Feb 2000
This was the day I finished my small batch of Golden cubes. Each was now fully covered with shiny gold stickers. I was very pleased with my puzzles and felt they were better than anything I'd made previously made. It wouldn't be until October 2002 though that I would find out what other people thought. It may sound strange that I kept the puzzle under wraps for over two years. The reason for this was because I was not on the internet and everyone I knew interested in puzzles were spread out all over the world. Rather than send countless photos I decided to spend a few years making new puzzles and then show them off all at once at the Dutch Cube Day in 2002.
6th Oct 2002
Finally I revealed my Golden Cube to the members of the NKC (Nederlandse Kubus Club) who had gathered at Leiden for the 2002 Dutch Cube Day. After the event I then sent photos to the people who didn't attend. The response was amazing and it was great encouragement for me to continue my hobby. However I wanted to make new puzzles so didn't touch my Golden Cube moulds again for a few years.
After many requests I made a few more Golden Cubes.
29th August 2005
I finish my 31st Golden Cube having kept a full photographic record. That record was made into a one off book and was included in a Golden Cube auction. The photos from that book are shown in the video below.
1st December 2006
This is the day I finished a Golden Cube I had always wanted to make. It had no stickers but the plastic was all gold in colour. I had simply made a normal one without the black pigment and then spray painted it. At first I was pleased and showed off the pictures. However when I tried to use it I found that very quickly the paint rubbed off. Not just on the inside but on the outside also.
I can't seem to track down the exact date but Uwe Meffert asked me for help in making the Halpern-Meier Pyramid. He knew that I had already made some of my own which I called Tetrahedron Skewbs (or similar). During the talks my Golden Cubes came up and a decision was made that Uwe would factory produce a mini version using a mini Skewb core.
However it was later decided that because of the fragility of the mini Skewb core the puzzle would be made from a full sized Skewb mechanism. Later still stickers were rejected because some were so tiny or very thin. We considered a metalised simulated gold affect as well as actual gold leaf. Finally Uwe decided to make three versions in a metalised Gold, Silver and Copper affect.
I receive two factory made Golden Cube prototypes. One is in yellow which was just an arbitrary colour. The other has been spray painted gold. A blue one was also made though I was never given it and I don't know what happened to it.
19th October 2008
I take the prototypes to the 2008 Dutch Cube Day in Eindhoven. The response is good though most people say they would prefer black with stickers.
29th November 2008
This is the day I had the idea that perhaps Uwe Meffert could produce blank/black Golden Cubes and the Cubesmith could produce a range of stickers to go with them. This was partly due to everyone saying they preferred black with stickers. It didn't solve the problem of some awkward shaped stickers but it gave buyers more of a choice. They could make their own stickers or use Cubesmith's and super glue the small ones on if necessary. I immediately discussed the idea with Cubesmith and Uwe and both were enthusiastic.
Uwe Meffert finally releases three Golden Cubes. The metalised Golden Cube plus the inappropriately named Copper and Silver Golden Cubes.
1st February 2009
I finish making the first ever Mini Golden Cube. As previously stated when I first discussed with Uwe Meffert the possibility of a factory made Golden Cube this is what it was going to look like. However Uwe told me that the mini Skewb core is quite fragile and prone to breaking. So the idea was abandoned and he used full sized Skewb cores instead. I however thought a satisfactory Mini Golden Cube was makable so I constructed one by hand. I am fairly happy with the result though it tends to pop very easily. As well as being much smaller and lighter than Uwe's version it more closely resembles my original design. The cuts are identical and I have kept the triangular piece with no apparent correct orientation.
Uwe Meffert releases White plastic (full sized) version. I had no idea this was to be released.
Official stickers are released by Cubesmith.
I make two special custom versions- A black and white plus a gold and silver.
Uwe Meffert sells out of all Golden Cubes and they become difficult to buy. Some say they will be the next Dogic puzzle.
The value of factory made Golden Cubes rocket. In April one went for around 500 GBP.
I make a blue custom version using 2nd generation masters from my original 1999 masters.
Although I much prefer black plastic with stickers I wanted to experiment with some other colours. I tried previously but nothing until now came out satisfactory. It's not quite as simple as it seems since you must ensure a constant colour throughout every part. In addition if you need to cut or sand the pieces those areas show up as a slightly different shade. That means it's best to avoid working on the parts at all so they need to come out of the moulds pretty much perfect.
This blue Golden Cube is also the first full size one I have made out of polyurethane resin using silicone rubber moulds. As stated above my originals were made from polyester resin using remeltable rubber moulds.
30th June 2012
I finish a green Golden Cube.
I made other minor variations by adding black stickers to the coloured plastic ones. These looked much nicer than I expected and I will add photos when I get time.