What types of Indian jewelry are there

Indian jewelry - traditional jewelry techniques


India jewelry art: Traditional Indian headdress

Indian jewelry

Indian jewelry Has always had multiple functions in India. Initially, however, it served as an amulet to protect against evil spirits, it emphasized the rank and position of the wearer and should of course also "adorn". Above all, it had to fulfill the function of an investment.

The property as a capital investment, which is particularly important for folk jewelery, has a fatal consequence: Depending on the life situation, jewelery had to be converted into money again and again, melted down or reworked. A bad harvest or flood not only destroyed grain, cattle or entire villages, but always also jewelry.
Although India is still the jewelery country par excellence, old Indian jewelery is therefore rare and the wealth of forms of traditional folk jewelery has been lost more and more.

In some Indian societies it was by no means uncommon for women to carry up to 5 kg of gold in the form of jewelry with them in their daily field work or when fetching water. This clearly shows the importance of jewelry in Indian culture. Jewelry in India is above all a sign of wealth, prestige and, above all, ethnic identity as well as an expression of social status and social rank.
Furthermore, it is of great importance in the area of ​​protection against disaster and disease and the expression of religion and belief.
Indian wedding jewelry is of great importance. In this article you will find a brief overview, nicely illustrated, of Indian wedding jewelry.

Regardless of the enormous variety of Indian jewelry forms, the following traditional forms of jewelry are worth mentioning.

Here are two videos on which traditional Indian forms of jewelry can be seen.

Jadau

This art form was introduced by the Mughals and is currently predominant in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

First, gold is brought into a malleable state by melting and then decorated with precious and semi-precious stones. The greatest precision is required here, as the stones only hold in place through their positioning in the gold.
That means they are fixed by the cooling gold without glue.
Jadau jewelry is mainly worn at weddings and other ceremonies. This jewelry is mostly made in teamwork.
The production of the basic construction, the engraving of the holes, the setting of the precious stones, and finally the enameling is mostly carried out by different artisans.

Kundan

During the Mughal rule, the Kundan style of jewelry making spread from Delhi to Rajasthan. Today Jaipur is a center of Kundan jewelry.

Kundankari is mainly used in gold and silver jewelry. Here, too, the focus is on setting the gemstones and designing the ornament.
Holes are cut for the gemstones into which the gemstones are inserted. After that
Lac - a natural resin is poured into the hole. This fixes the gemstones in the Kundan (gold). The resin is covered with high quality gold and then the gemstone is inserted. Kundan jewelry is often enamelled on the back (Meenakari) so that both sides have a magnificent surface (Meena Kundan - a variation of the Kundan style). A group of craftsmen is also employed in the production of Kundan jewelry, who are responsible for the various manufacturing processes.

Meenakari

Meenakari is the art of decorating metal with bright colors. It is a traditional handicraft from India that requires a high degree of skill and qualification and originates from Rajasthan. Indian jewelry at the highest manufacturing level.

Every piece produced is a small work of art in which a team of craftsmen is always involved.
The production takes place in several work steps: First, the artisans punch a selected design (flowers, birds, fish ...) into a large piece of metal with the appropriate tools. Then the desired colors (enamel dust) are applied to the pattern with a brush and burned.
The heat of the kiln melts the colors so that the colored liquid can be evenly distributed in the wells.
Since the colors are burned individually, this process is repeated several times. Traditional colors like red, blue, green and white are most commonly used for Meenakari work. Gold or silver is used as the basis of the Meenkari.

Navaratna

In Navaratna jewelry, nine stones are used in a single piece of jewelry. These nine stars represent the nine planets of the solar system and ensure the well-being of the wearer.

The nine stones are diamond, ruby, emerald, coral, pearl, sapphire, garnet, topaz and cat’s eye. Each planet watches over one of the nine gemstones and gives the wearer the strength to protect against the respective danger via the respective gemstone.
In Sanskrit the word nava means “nine” and ratna means “precious stone”, the basis of this belief can be found in Vedic astrology.
Navaratna jewelry is preferably made of gold or silver and is intended to protect its wearer against various dangers.

Pachchikam

Pachchikam jewelry is originally from Gujarat and is just becoming popular again as a jewelry style.

This type of jewelry production is very complex.
The basic material is silver into which gemstones and pieces of glass are pressed. Small metal clips fix the unpolished gemstones and pieces of glass.

This craftsmanship is very old and is passed on within families. Changes in the manufacturing process are rejected, which leads to a low prevalence.

The pieces of jewelry look raw, but this emphasizes the old tribal character.

On our Shop Assortment page, you can see excerpts from our range of Indian jewelry handicrafts. Visit our jewelry online shop and discover the whole world of Indian jewelry art.