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The emperor’s new candy

London artist Greetje van Helmond creates lovely jewelry out of sugar crystals like the chunky necklace and ring pictured above. But with prices starting at £120 a piece — over $240 for a bauble that’s history if it falls into a cup of coffee — you can buy sugar for enough edible rocks to outbling Jacob the Jeweler. Save the money for some real diamonds and make your own rock candy necklace for less than $1 using this simple recipe.

Rock Candy Jewelry

4 cups white sugar
2 cups water
food coloring (optional)
additional sugar and water

large glass jar (the taller the better for longer lengths)
cotton string
chopstick or pencil
paperclip or washer

1. Cut string to desired length plus a couple of extra inches which will be wrapped around the chopstick or pencil for suspension.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.

3. Completely dissolve the sugar in the boiling water, stirring constantly until the liquid is clear and reaches a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Add food coloring at this stage, if applicable.

4. Cool sugar solution slightly and pour into the jar.

5. Thoroughly wet the string with water and roll in the additional sugar, making sure the string is completely coated. The granulated sugar serves as seed crystals on which the rock candy will form.

6. Tie the paper clip or washer to the end of the string. This will be used as a weight.

7. Suspend the string from the chopstick or pencil by tying it around the middle of the stick. Lower the string into the jar of sugar solution and rest the stick across the mouth of the jar. Adjust the string length if necessary so that there’s at least an inch between the bottom of the jar and the paper clip/washer.

8. Let jar sit, undisturbed, at room temperature for several days. Noticeable sugar crystals should start to form in a few hours and will take about a week to create something worth looking at.

9. When crystals grow large enough for your liking, remove from solution and let dry on parchment paper. Do not rinse!

10. Tie into a necklace, or bracelet if it’s shorter.

11. Take a few pretty pictures, create a nice website, write some pretentious copy, and sell for outrageous amounts of money.

One Comment

  1. Cat wrote:

    12. Eat.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

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