By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Theo Fennell’s latest opening ring is a tribute to Stonehenge, the ancient cultural site in Wiltshire, England. It is crafted in 18-karat gold with a blue topaz dome set with 0.38 carats of diamonds.
London—This Saturday marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere that will be celebrated with festivals and rituals worldwide.

In southwest England, tens of thousands of visitors normally flock to Stonehenge for the solstice, watching as the sun comes up behind the monument’s Heel Stone and its rays shine directly into the center of Stonehenge.

(The mysterious prehistoric site also attracts thousands of visitors on the winter solstice, for a perfect view of the sunset on the shortest day of the year.)

But, as we’re all painfully aware, 2020 is not a normal year.

Like almost everything else this year, COVID-19 has forced the cancelation of the annual in-person celebration at the prehistoric World Heritage Site.

Instead, English Heritage, the charity that manages hundreds of historic locales including Stonehenge, will live-stream both sunset on June 20 and sunrise on June 21 on its social media channels, a first for either event.

So, what does one wear to a socially distanced solstice celebration? How about a ring featuring a mini-Stonehenge in 18-karat gold?

British jewelry designer Theo Fennell, known for his detailed, playful and high-quality designs, and his team took six months to craft a new opening ring that pays homage to the monument. 

The Summer Solstice Ring is made in 18-karat gold with hand-engraved representations of the sun, moon and stars.

20200618 Solstice ring side viewA side view of Theo Fennell’s Summer Solstice Ring
A halo of diamonds surrounds a dome of diamond-set blue topaz meant to mimic the transition from night to dawn. The dome opens to reveal a to-scale version of Stonehenge also in 18-karat gold created by Fennell’s team of six craftsmen.  

Fennell said he visited Stonehenge for the solstice in his younger days and has been back more recently to sketch it.

The site’s mystery, surprise and talismanic appeal are what inspired the designer to turn it into an opening ring.

“It is a place of huge emotional heft even if you are not a hippie. It resonates with ancient vibes and, seen in the summer moonlight, [is] a magical place,” he said. “The ring, like Stonehenge, is a man-made miracle … only smaller.”

Priced at £22,000 (about $28,000), the Summer Solstice ring is available on TheoFennell.com alongside a selection of other opening rings from the London-based jeweler.

The ring is also on display at the Theo Fennell flagship in London, which currently is open on a by-appointment-only basis, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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