History and Art of Indian Native Jewellery
Jewelry is art. Art that makes people glow in beauty. It is the wearer that makes the accessory shine. This is a message to all that the entire universe shines in beauty and we as humans need to create beautiful accessories to shine like the stars.
Wearing accessories has so many meanings. Indians throughout their existence have created uncountable jewelry pieces. Both men and women wear diverse types of jewelry made in gold, silver, copper, and more.
It is a symbol of wealth and status nowadays. It is also the symbol of commitment and love. Handcrafted temple jewelry is an integral part of every Indian woman’s wardrobe. They may be bedecked in gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and other precious stones. These are passed on to generations and gifted on auspicious occasions. Even now Jewellery is associated with wealth, power, and prosperity among Indian families.
Each religion sports a type of jewelry. The designs vary from state to state. Precious stones in jewelry are believed to have mystical properties and are worn to protect the aura and ensure protection among the ancient nobles.
History of Indian Jewellery
Metal was used to make the bulk of jewelry throughout the Indus Valley era. Also, in the 16th century, the Mughals invented imaginative procedures that changed the beautiful shapes and patterns of items. As a result, jewelry evolved as an art form displaying diamonds, gems, and alloys. Initially, pebbles, animal skins, shells, threads, and crystals or stones were used to make jewelry. Likewise, the early men decorated their bodies with these elements to symbolize acknowledgment, power, and the status of dominance.
Unfortunately, jewelry was pricey, and only the privileged could afford to wear gold and precious stone-encrusted pieces. And every piece of jewelry became a sign of wealth, status, and power. Jewelry creation in India has a rich history dating back to the Imperial era. India was the very first country in the world to mine diamonds, with mines near Hyderabad. Diamonds, for example, are frequently given as gifts because they symbolize grandeur, stability, and permanence, among other things.
Types of Traditional Indian Jewellery
Jadau Indian jewelry:
The Mughals were the first to introduce Jadau, a sort of Indian jewelry. Rajasthani artisans refined this method to perfection. This method employs uncut gemstones like diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies, and others inserted in gold in their natural shapes.
The gold is only a framing for these stunning stones, which are held in place with no glue. Jadau is derived from the colloquial phrase 'jad' (which means to embed) and is often utilized in Kundan, Polki, and meenakari jewelry. Chiterias creates the jewelry design, which is followed by Ghaarias' engraving and spacing with malleable gold. The enameller decorates the back of the jewelry in the meenakari technique after the stones are naturally put in the gold casing.
Kundan Indian Jewellery
Kundan is a term that refers to highly refined pure gold. This type of jewelry is composed of pure 24k gold. It's the world's oldest jewelry-making process, with a 2500-year history. Because 24 karats are softer than 18 karats, it cannot be used to make a whole piece of jewelry—only the jadayi component, which is finally known as Kundan, is done in this metal. Jadau jewelry is another name for the skill of producing Kundan. Glass bits are used as the top layer, with gold as the base metal.
It is popular among North Indian royal families, and the skill originated in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Similarly, it flourished throughout the Mughal period. Kundan pieces, which are a common inheritance in jewelry kits, have a unique meaning in India. The secretive artistry of Kundan jewelry has been a cherished part of handing down rare items through centuries, with strong origins in the royal age of the fore.
Lacquer Indian Jewellery
Lac is a thick, waxy fluid secreted by the female Tachardia lacca, an Indian forest scale insect, during development and reproduction. It is the only resin derived from an animal. To make shellacs, the lac resin is dried and pulverized. Shellac is a chemical that is widely found in fabric dyes, varnishes, and jewelry. Lac is used on numerous types of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings. However, the most frequent kind of lac jewelry is bangles, which are extremely popular in Rajasthan and Bihar.
This jewelry which is sourced from Rajasthan is surprisingly flexible. Bangles are one of the most popular decorations in this style. Glass beads, mirrors, and ornate wire are also used to enhance the attractiveness of the jewelry. Indian ladies recognize the importance of these brilliant, inexpensive, colorful jewels that not only bring a gentle touch to their wrists but also their hearts.
Meenakari Indian Jewellery
Meenakari is a compound word made up of the terms Meena and Kari. Meena is a feminine form of the Persian word Meenu, which signifies paradise or heaven. The style emphasizes the use of colored enamel to cover grooves and engravings.
Interestingly, it was discovered in Persia and afterward introduced to India by Mughal troops.
It is a popular choice for brides in North India. Since the 16th century, Raja Man Singh of Jaipur has been encouraging art and allowing it to grow. Meenakari jewelry was a native type of jewelry that rose to prominence in India. Kari is a Traditional term that implies to do or position something on top of something else. The combination of the words Meenakari implies imbuing paradise on a thing.
Making Panchchikam jewelry requires a tremendous deal of attention to detail and care. Pachchikam is derived from the term 'pachchigar,' which translates as a goldsmith because this piece of jewelry is entirely handcrafted. Many modern jewelry designers include the basic and lovely aesthetic of Pachchikam into their products. Whether you name it Pachchikam or Pachchi, jewelry was worn by European nobility throughout the 16th century.
Pachchikam jewelry is remarkably similar to Jaipur's Kundan jewelry in that both include intricate masonry with solitary uncut diamonds known as Polkis and other semi-precious stones. However, upon closer observation, one can see that Pachchikam looks to be coarser and frailer than Kundan. In addition, Pachchikam is often set in silver foil, and Kundan is made in gold foil. The former is less expensive than the latter and resembles platinum.
Navratna is a Sanskrit phrase that means "nine gems" or "navratna jewelry." It has nine jewels in its setting. The combination of these nine gems has unique significance in Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, and other religions. Surprisingly, navratan jewelry is also popular in Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Navratan Jewelry is signifying the gemstone’s energy associated with the cosmos. Ruby is related to the Sun, Peral to the Moon, Emerald to Mercury, Diamonds to Venus, Yellow Saphhire to Jupiter, Blue Sapphire to Saturn, Red Coral to Mars, Hessonite to the North Node of the moon, Cat’s eye to the Soth node of the moon, Turquoise to Neptune, Quartz to Uranus and so on.
Navratan jewelry in the shape of an amulet was worn around the necks and hands of kings and emperors (Maharaja) in ancient times. Because each of these jewels signifies a celestial god, the combination of these nine gemstones summons the cosmic energies of heavenly bodies.
Discovering the different types of traditional Indian jewelry, its history, and cultural significance assuredly piques your interest. And if you are mesmerized by the handicraft of Indian jewelry, you will discover where to buy them right here. You can find traditionally handcrafted jewelry by artisans from India on our website. Check out our jewelry section to know more.