This white ceramic tile was acquired from the estate of a former Apple Education employee. It is printed with a negative-space white Apple logo on a shimmering, metallic gold circle with the words “THE GOLDEN APPLE CLUB,” also printed in metallic gold. The tile’s border is surrounded with dark-green-printed shamrocks and the words “Ireland ’92” in an Old English typeface.
I was able to find a few references to the “The Golden Apple Club” in my research. One source in the Online Archive of California in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford shows a listing in a collection archive titled, “Guide to the Apple Computer, Inc. Records M1007” (1998). The reference catalogs the item as “Vanity Press Items” with the entry: The Golden Apple Club: the best of the best., 1991. The complete record specifies that the university collection includes approximately 600 linear feet of items from 1977–1998 including: “organizational charts, annual reports, company directories, internal communications, engineering reports, design materials, press releases, manuals, public relations materials, human resource information, videotapes, audiotapes, software, hardware, and corporate memorabilia.”
A former Apple Regional Sales Manager on LinkedIn lists that he was a “Golden Apple Sales Award Winner” in 1998.
The long-running podcast RetroMacCast Episode 261 (October 21, 2012): “Frito Residue,” includes a reference to a 18K gold Golden Apple Club pin (selling for $1,049.99) and later included a conversation about the Golden Apple Club program. The podcast host discussed several Golden Apple Club items he had purchased in a kit, including a deck of cards, heavy-duty black plastic luggage tags, a neck pillow in a gray vinyl pouch, and a small portfolio—all with the Golden Apple Club logo. The “Club” was described as a program for sales representatives who had exceeded planned sales goals for a fiscal year. Reportedly, one of the “prizes” for Golden Apple Club members included a trip.
Based upon this information, this tile may have been received by a Golden Apple Club award winner on a trip to Ireland in 1992.
Perhaps worth noting, Apple has had facilities in Cork, Ireland, since 1980 and specifies that Cork “serves as Apple’s European headquarters, supporting customers across the continent and beyond.” There is no indication that this trip was to Cork, and this connection is pure speculation.
The tile measures 4.25 x 4.25 inches, 3/16-inch thick, and has a cork bottom.
Sources: Stanford, Apple, RetroMacCast