I’ve been on a whimsical journey exploring the importance of early plant hunters and some of the beautiful botanical illustrations made to describe the finds of these explorers and early botanists. This has inspired some new jewellery, which you can find in my all-new collection, Botanica.
Today I want to show you ‘Cinchona’ (pronounced cin·cho·na [sing-koh-nuh] ). This necklace, earrings and bracelet are named after the Cinchona tree, originally brought to Europe by the great plant hunter Carl Linnaeus. It was a vital source of quinine which was invaluable in the fight against malaria by Europeans as they explorer farther reaches of the world. It was widely held that drinking it daily would prevent malaria, and it was recommended to regularly drink tonic water (which still contains mild traces of quinine) in the colonies. That certainly made my ears prick up – gin and tonic on the veranda, anyone?!
I have used rough chalcedony cubes and tiny faceted rhodonite garnets for the earrings and necklace, with blue lace agate squares in the bracelet. Does the translucent effect of the blue stones remind you of strange colour of gin and tonic in the sunshine – or is that just me?