A new video posted to YouTube offers a fascinating look at what’s described as one of the “rarest Apple products on earth”: the 10-year Award. This is a gift that Apple gives to employees after they cross that 10-year milestone. It’s made from the same aluminium as Apple products, with a stainless steel Apple logo set into the centre.
The all-new aluminium 10-year Award
The video comes from DongleBookPro, one of the best curators of rare and prototype Apple hardware. The video explains that Apple switched to this new aluminium design for its 10-year award sometime around 2020 or 2021. In the past, the company gifted employees a similar award, but it was made from crystal rather than aluminium. (You can see the previous design below.)
The aluminium used for this award is the same as in Apple’s products. There’s a stainless steel Apple logo on the front with the number ’10’ engraved on the side as well as the employee’s name. You also get an Apple polishing cloth in the box as well.
A note included with the award explains the production process in more detail:
Your 10-year award is made from the same 6000 series aluminum that we use to make our products. Remnants from the production process are collected and reformulated to create a 100 percent recycled, custom alloy. The alloy is cast into long ingots, then each ingot is sliced into blocks that are machined to the finished size. The surface is fine blasted and the edges are diamond-cut. The block is then anodized to seal the finish and create a protective layer. Finally, a stainless steel Apple logo is set into the center.There’s also a congratulatory note hand-signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook:
Congratulations on reaching this milestone moment. The work you’ve done, the challenges you’ve met and the breakthroughs you’ve made possible–they all add up to a profound and lasting contribution to Apple’s mission to change the world for the better.
On behalf of everyone at Apple, thank you for all you bring to our journey together.
DongleBookPro says that there are versions of this award for 20-year and 30-year anniversaries as well. Below is an image obtained by 9to5Mac that shows the darker space gray 20-year version alongside the 10-year crystal version.