Thursday, 20 June 2024

Celebrate Summer Solstice with The Rock Hound's Alchemy

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The Rock Hound/Susi Smither, East London’s award-winning gemmologist jeweller, aligns with the solstice to launch her new jewellery collection: an "Alchemy" of gold and bright colours.

Inspired by the bright golden Summer sun, The Rock Hound's Alchemy jewellery collection signs the start of the new season.

 

About The Rock Hound's New Jewellery Collection: Alchemy

The Rock Hound celebrates Summer Solstice with the warm tones of yellow and rose gold, signature colours of her latest ethically made jewellery collection. Alchemy gives an opulent gold touch to The Rock Hound’s iconic HotRocks pieces inspired by naturally occurring quartz crystals. Striking pendants evoke a feeling of connection to Mother Earth, juxtaposed with their trademark flash of colour that adds a playful mysticism to the pieces.

The new collection launches online in time for Summer Solstice, on the official The Rock Hound website, with prices starting from £250 for hoops through to £495 for the wand pendants.

The Inspiration Behind Alchemy

About her inspiration, Susi Smither states: “My favourite time of year is festival season. In my mind there just isn’t anything better than floating around in fields with my friends. A chance to step away from the rat race, shake off any worries and escape to a land of pure creativity.

The opening ceremony to this season is the Summer Solstice. You can feel the heat burning off the remains of the cold spring air and there’s a certain security in knowing we’re making the most out of each day. As the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth moves closest to the sun, we’re lapping up the warmth of its golden rays as we peak at the longest day of the year.

Festivals take this feeling to the next level. Where hippies and psychonauts come together to celebrate being alive in the echoes of pagan traditions celebrating the abundance of summer and having survived another harsh winter with music carried on the wind and ritualistic dancing till the sun comes up. This heady mix of emotion, creativity and nostalgia has been on my mood board for The Rock Hound’s newest collection – HotRocks Alchemy,” she concludes. 

Fairmined Gold For Ethical Jewellery

Always striving to be an ethical innovator, The Rock Hound turned Alchemist using traceable Fairmined Gold to plate its recycled AgAIN silver repurposed from retired NHS X-rays. The new collection is the first occasion for the designer to work these ultimately sustainable precious metals together, making it a top ethical consumer choice.

“Through plating the Fairmined Gold onto the AgAIN sterling silver we’ve created the ultimate 18ct Fairmined Gold Vermeil proving Alchemy is possible and you don’t have to sacrifice your morals or your bank balance to wear gold this season,” explains Smither.

She adds: “With long summer festival days which blur into the nights ahead, these pieces were made to be worn by carefree sparkly souls who want to only have a positive impact on the world around them”.

Statement jewellery such as a pair of hoop earrings with a detachable hanging charm feature a strikingly colourful ceramic-coated tip. This signature flash of colour that is present throughout the eclectic collection is created using a form of plating utilising coloured ceramic particles which are undetectable to the human eye. After a thin layer adheres through a form of electroplating to the piece, it is then cured, giving a vibrant solid layer of colour that creates a beautifully striking contrast against the gold vermeil.

Gold vermeil is made in a similar way to gold plating but is considered superior as it is made up of a much thicker layer of gold and always on sterling silver rather than any other metal. Due to this 2-micron gold layer on top of the white silver underneath, gold vermeil has a bright finish giving a durable and longer lasting option for jewellery.

“I’d been reluctant to use gold plating in my current jewellery as there was no way of responsibly tracing the gold and “recycled” gold just wasn’t ethical enough in my mind. In a moment of serendipity, I became a Fairmined Licensee at the start of this year as a way of expanding the certified gold I use and similar to Fairtrade Gold supporting the artisanal and small-scale miners in Colombia. Signing up to Fairmined opened the door to new suppliers who work with this traceable gold and that’s when I discovered D&M Plating – the only registered UK supplier of certified gold plating,” Susi explains.

More about The Rock Hound

East London’s Gemmologist Jeweller, The Rock Hound, is known for using responsibly sourced raw materials to create striking design-led jewellery. Playful hues frame bold gemstones and organic, flowing forms to create offbeat pairings. Holding ethical principles at the core of the brand, The Rock Hound brings the aesthetics to ethics.

The brand was founded in 2015 by award-winning jewellery designer, Susi Smither FGA GIA JDT. Today, it is a proud Fairmined Gold Licensee and a recognised collaborator with artisan lapidaries and gemstone mining partners across the globe.

Smither has also been shortlisted as a contender for the prestigious title of Creative Jewellery Designer of The Year, which will be announced at the UK Jewellery Awards next week on 26th June. This is the second time Susi has been shortlisted and she went on to win New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards back in 2017 just two years after launching The Rock Hound. 

The Alchemy collection is available at therockhound.com from the eve of this Summer Solstice 2024, Thursday 20th June, and online through La Maison Couture and at Selfridges.com to follow.