Indian jewellery is recognised for its fine craftsmanship, complex patterns, and classic appeal. Each work highlights the rich cultural legacy of India and delivers an engrossing tale.
The world of Indian jewellery has grown since the introduction of online shopping, enabling fans from all over the world to research and buy these magnificent pieces from the comfort of their homes.
Traditional Indian Jewellery has the recognition of its own. Jewellery, in general, enhances one's beauty. In Indian culture, the jewellery that women wear signifies their status, wealth, and status, in society. The history of Traditional Indian Jewellery is as old as Indian History.
History of Indian Jewellery:
Indian jewellery portrayed richness in the ancient past and was worn by both men and women during the ancient past. The ornaments available were made from gold, silver, ivory, copper, beads and pottery.
Shah Jahan was attracted by the designs of Dutch jewellery and it is in this period that various pieces of jewellery for arms, hands, legs, turban, neck and face were introduced. Rajasthan in past was the place for gold jewellery and in addition to that the Rajputs also were seen to contribute their authority in creating jewellery.
Indian jewellery in modern times however saw a drastic change and certain ornaments have touched the height of popularity and thus emerged as the most used jewellery.
Types of Indian Jewellery:
Indian jewellery comprises nose rings, earrings, rings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, amulets and many more. It ranges from religious to purely aesthetic types and is crafted not only for humans but also for the Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Different regions in India have their uniqueness in jewellery-making styles, Jaipur is famous for its delicate art of meenakari or enamelling, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are known for their fine filigree work in silver, the Kundan or the setting of semi-precious or precious stones in gold from Delhi are now famous around the world.
The wide variety of silver beads found all over India, especially in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are also well known.
Materials like Resin, glass, and artistic pieces from Kundan are used in making Indian jewellery. Some major types of Indian jewellery include South Indian jewellery, antique jewellery, temple jewellery and North Indian jewellery. Antique jewellery is also used in modern-day jewellery in gold or silver, which goes through a process of oxidizing and is sometimes buried in a pot of clay, to give it a dull look.
Indian jewellery is stylish and is not restricted only to a single metal. Manufacturers use all materials, ranging from plastic and glass to white metal, cheaper alloys and fabric. India has been a major manufacturer and exporter of jewellery in recent years.
In ancient times when gold was not mined, copper and its alloys - bronze and brass, were much in use for jewellery-making. Those times are referred to as the Bronze Period.
With unique earthly looks, copper jewellery holds lots of significance owing to its balancing quality. Copper is directly associated with Venus and is also known to be a soother and reliever of pain.
Polki jewellery features uncut diamonds set in gold, giving it a regal and antique appeal. It gained popularity during the Mughal era and continues to be cherished for its exquisite craftsmanship.
Kundankari of jewellery is prevalent in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The process involves making holes in the precious metal, and engraving the gems and stones by setting them in these holes perfectly.
This kind of jewellery is rarely made of solid metal and is rather stuffed with Lac. Also known as ‘Jewellery of the Royals’, it has the stones like topaz, emerald, garnet, amethyst and rock crystal.
Meenakari work is usually done on the reverse side of a Kundan ornament so that the ornament can be used from the sides. It is also done on all the ornaments. This jewellery art also belongs to Rajasthan which was introduced by Raja Mansingh.
The king called artisans and craftsmen from Lahore who along with the local craftsmen of Rajasthan came up with Meenakari jewellery.
The jewellery belongs to Odisha and parts of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its delicate designs that are made by bending very thin wires that are hammered several times for the thinnest look.
The filigree work is not only used in jewellery making but also in many decorative commodities like show-pieces, flower vases, spoons, trays, boxes, brooches, pendants and hair-pins.
The jewellery made by tribal people of India, from available sources like elephant teeth, stones, sea shells, clay and bones is known as Tribal jewellery.
Apart from this, even in the present-day fashion scenario, though the trends and styles seem to change in a blink of an eye yet, these forms of Indian jewellery always stay there on the ramp.
Names of Traditional Indian Jewellery:
Maangtika and Jhoomar:
The maangtika is a traditional headpiece worn most often at weddings, traditionally by the Hindu bride. It consists of a metallic string, with an attractive pendant attached at one end, which may be of any shape and adorned with precious or semi-precious stones. The maangtika is worn at the middle parting of the hair. Muslim brides wear a jhoomar, which is a similar beautiful ornamental headpiece, on one side of the forehead.
This is the traditional Indian nose ring, most commonly worn on the left nostril. Designs vary, based on traditions followed in different parts of the country. The Punjabis of north India wear the Shikarpuri Nath, consisting of a big gold ring with a slender chain connecting it to the hair. The nath is often adorned with precious stones and gems, even along the connecting chain.
This is an attractive band worn around the waist, over the traditional Indian outfit. The traditional ones are quite heavy, consisting of intricate patterns and designs. This jewellery piece draws attention to the waistline and is therefore associated with sensuality.
Jhumkas and Balis:
These are traditional Indian earrings, intricately designed and decorated with stones and gems. Jhumkas consists of a small upper portion, connected to a bell-shaped structure below it. Balis, on the other hand, are traditionally ring-shaped earrings, offering the right ethnic touch to traditional Indian outfits.
Mangalsutra and Thaali:
Indian necklaces are of different kinds, such as the hasli (a small collar neckpiece) or the longer kantha necklace. However, the most traditional of all is the mangal sutra, a necklace of black beads and gold worn by married women.
This traditional Indian anklet is often gifted to baby girls. It is usually made of silver and contains a small bell which makes a jingling sound.
The traditional Indian bangle, made of gold or silver, is known as the Okanagan. The bridal kangans are more ornate, with a clasp for fastening it securely. Punjabi brides also wear chooras, traditionally made of ivory, and available in a combination of red and white.
Online jewellers in India offer a wide variety of collections to suit different tastes and occasions. There is jewellery to suit every taste and fashion, whether you want a spectacular necklace studded with Kundan stones, ornately made jhumkas or a delicate mangal sutra.
These online marketplaces frequently work with well-known jewellery designers and companies, ensuring the integrity and calibre of the products.
Indian jewellery is a symbol of the nation's illustrious past, artistic skill, and enduring cultural traditions. Each piece of jewellery tells a different tale, from the regal attraction of Kundan and Polki to the holy allure of Temple jewellery.