Indian Jewelry



Indian jewelry is celebrated all over the world for its variety and intricate craftsmanship. Indeed, every part of this country has its individual and unique style of creating and decorating ornaments.

Since ancient times, India's tribes have developed an indigenous style of jewelry-making, using easily available raw materials such as clay, bone, stone, wood and others. Today, ethnic tribal jewelry from India is as popular as handmade jewelry crafted by professional artisans using sophisticated instruments.

West Bengal is well known for its terracotta jewelry . In the town of Shantiniketan, artisans craft beautiful necklaces, rings , bracelets, anklets, pendants, bangles , hair pins and other trinkets. This trendy Indian jewelry is made of clay, which is then engraved and glazed. West Bengal is also known for its Navratna jewelry .

India is also famous for its jute jewelry . This colorful jewelry is adorned with beads, shells , and brightly colored threads. Jute is very popular with the youngsters, because it is not expensive, is light weight, and eco friendly.

The state of Orissa in India is renowned for its filigree jewelry . This is a very intricate and delicate art of jewelry making, in which fine threads of metal are curled, twisted and plaited. These are then joined by means of gold or silver solder and borax using a blowpipe. This Indian jewelry requires a great deal of dexterity and skill.

India is one of the world's largest exporters of pearls , and the main centre of pearl trade in India, is Hyderabad. This historical and culturally rich city has become synonymous with pearls. And these are available in a whole range of colors from the exquisite white to a dark grey. They are strung together in necklaces and bracelets and set in earrings, bangles and other ornaments.

Nagercoil in South India is famous for its chunky temple jewelry . This elaborate Indian jewelry is made of 22 karat gold and is studded with precious stones.

Jewelry from Kashmir is characterized by its mirror and bead work . Kashmiri earrings are typically heavy and bell shaped. Kashmir is also famous for its sapphires. Kashmiri sapphires have been mined for nearly 40 years (1880- 1920s) in the cliffs over the small village of Sumjana.

The colorful state of Rajasthan in North-west India is associated with heavy jewelry made of oxidized silver that is worn by its tribes, as well as with exquisite meenakari, kundan and lacquer jewelry.

Lacquer jewelry: This Indian jewelry is made of lac, which is a hardened tree-sap. It is then colored; typically blue, red and green, after which it is decorated with brass and studded with glass.

Meenakari jewelry: This jewelry from India was introduced by Raja Mansingh of Amer. He invited skilled artisans from Lahore to his kingdom, and they influenced the jewelry craft of the local craftsman. Meenakari jewelry is gold jewelry in which are set precious gemstones, and which is then enameled with gold. Jaipur, Alwar, Pratapgarh and Nathdwara are the important centers of Meenakari work in Rajasthan.

Kundan jewelry is a specialty of Rajasthan. The kundan is a semi-precious opaque crystal. Artisans begin by shaping individual pieces and then soldering them together. Thereafter, they engrave the jewelry and cut holes in it. The pieces are then enameled. Lac is inserted in the back, so that it is visible through the holes. Gold is then used to cover the lac, and the kundan stone is pushed in.

Rajasthan is also known for its theva art .

Another famous form of jewelry from India is the Pachchikam jewelry of Gujarat.

Indian jewelry, we see, embraces numerous styles and techniques, and uses several raw materials. While silver and gold are the most popular materials, copper, lac, bone, wood, jute and clay are also widely used. Jewelry studded with gemstones is as popular as that which is adorned with beads, shells, mirrors and other decorative items.

Handicrafts Trade
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