The tradition of putting on jewelry is an ancient tradition in India that dates back almost 5,000 years. Women and jewelry are inseparable. Throughout history, the art of making ornaments with preciseness and delicacy has flourished. As compared to other cultures, Indian jewelry has always been excessive. Legend has it, that when a girl is born into an Indian family, they start accumulating jewelry and money for her wedding from day one. The years of efforts put into buying and collecting ornaments for the baby girl results in an exquisite collection that never fails to grab eye balls at her wedding.
In India, the jewelry is matched with the bridal dress. The theme and design of the wedding attire is also taken into consideration while selecting the wedding jewelry.
Originally, antique jewelry referred to the jewelry of the ancient times passed down from one generation to the next. Today, the term ‘antique jewelry’ refers to contemporary jewelry which is either oxidized or buried in a pot of clay to give it a dull and rough look.
Also known as filograno in many cultures, this technique is used in the production of gold and silver ornaments. It is a specific type of technique in which the metal is reduced to fine wires or threads, which are further molded, braided and bent to create finely carved, swirling motifs and designs. It requires a lot of patience to curl the threads of precious metal into delicate designs, thus it is quite expensive.
Jewelry carved out of elephant tusks is called ivory jewelry. It is a rare and controversial type of jewelry, since it involves violently removing the tusks of elephants. In Gujarat, the bride is given ivory bangles prior to her wedding by her family which she wears during the wedding ceremony. In Punjab, the bride’s maternal uncle gift her chudas, and ivory chudas have become popular in recent years.
Jadau jewelery is also known as engraved jewelry. It has uncut diamonds called vilandi or polki used as a central stone. The core of the ornament is made of a natural resin. There are gemstones of several colors studded and fit together in the holes by the craftsmen called jadiyas.
Meenakari is the art of decorating metal with enamel. Meenakari is made on the metal surface by chitras. Today, precious stones are enameled with gold. Meenakari was introduced by the combined work of artisans from Lahore and Rajasthan.
In Sanskrit, kundan means the purest form of gold to set stones. Kundan jewelery is a style of setting semi-precious stones. Twenty-four carat gold foil is called kundan which is poured in molten form to mount the stones.
Navratna jewelry means the ornaments that have nine gems. It is a very popular form of jewelry because of the astrological belief attached to it. According to Vedic astrology, the nine gemstones represent the nine planets. This type of jewelry is said to ward off bad effects of the planets and bring peace and prosperity.
As they say, a diamond is a woman’s best friend. Diamond jewelry is also a popular form of bridal jewelry. The cut, clarity, colour and carat rate of the diamond are always considered. Diamond jewelry is generally studded in platinum and gold.
A bride should sparkle on her wedding day. Instead of choosing plain, everyday jewelry, most brides choose to mix and match breath-taking jewelry with their dresses. Colorful gems, intricate gold settings, and hand-crafted metal work all help women everywhere stand out as a beautiful bride.