20 years ago, my Nanna and I went on an adventure to New Zealand, and went gold panning in Arrowtown. We took it very seriously and eventually found the tiniest flaky grain of alluvial gold...
We carefully stored it in a little jar of water but a couple of days later, whilst assiduously doing the washing up, Nanna emptied the whole lot down the sink. And that was the end of our minuscule gold rush!
When the Fairtrade Foundation launched Fairtrade Gold a few years ago, I had a dream of having a pair of tiny studs made that would just look like a rough nugget taken straight from the mines. The little nuggets I'd never found all those years ago. I asked around the companies we were working with, but no-one did them.
Then in Fairtrade Fortnight this year, suddenly a golden ray of light in my quest. A new company The Rock Hound appeared with a GoldRush collection - with exactly the same inspiration!
Excitedly, I got in touch with The Rock Hound the very lovely Susi Smither, gemmologist and now Fairtrade gold jeweller extraordinaire.
So, we were on! A few weeks ago I visited The Rock Hound studio in Hackney, and she showed me her nuggets :)
Instead of a single, we decided to go for tiny clusters of three... and we handpicked each one, whilst sipping a nice chilled rosé. Now this, my friends, is the way business should be done!
Fresh back from being Fairtrade Gold hallmarked by the Assay office, my beautiful, unique earrings were delivered to me in person, in a lovely black and gold presentation box. — in London, United Kingdom.
Most of all, I love knowing that my special golden nuggets are completely traceable back to small-scale artisanal mining organisations in Peru, securing more health and safety protection, eradication of child labour, better environmental systems, as well as earning a better income for what they sell. You can find out more at Fairtrade Foundation.
Here they are. And to me, in all their nuggety knobbliness - or knobbly nuggetiness - they are perfect!
- Barbara Crowther,