The artifact contains three "diamond" spheres, all containing 3 colored glass spheres. The foreground sphere exhibits perfect refletions and refractions, with the refractions/refractions getting more glossy as on the background spheres.
The platform is comprised of two cubes (scaled and slightly offset from eachother). The inner cube exhibits glossy reflections, and the outer perfect reflections. The platform is suspended atop two cylinder legs. The legs are texture mapped with a wood texture, and the right leg casts a soft shadow across the platform. If you look carefully, the red and purple glass balls within the foremost sphere also cast soft shadow on the platform.
The scene is surrounded by a cube texture mapped by a ocean at sunset image. The image is mapped to the emissive atttribute of the cube.
The scene is lit by a single point light, without distance attenuation (all coefficients set to 0). The light has a radius specified to render the soft shadows on the platform.
The image was rendered with a depth of 10, and 100 samples per pixel. It took, approximtely, 1 hour to render.