Silver Jewelry

 

 

Silver is often termed as poor man’s gold, but as a semi precious metal, silver has its own importance. Countries have been maintaining the silver standard for monetary purposes for a long time along with the gold standard. Silver is not too expensive and as such silver utensils, silver jewelry, and other decorative items made of silver are very popular among the middle class families in India and similar developing countries. Silver is also used for ornamentation of popular deities and for many industrial purposes too. Silver jewelry is very popular among the middle class people of India and the students chiefly due to their affordability.

Silver jewelry in India includes many items. Rings, pendants, chains, silver necklaces, bracelets, ear rings, bangles, and anklets are the usual silver jewelry items found in countless silver jewelry shops in India. Most of the times, the silver items are combined with some other metal or precious stones for a much more remarkable effect. Being very flexible, silver can be used to make jewelry with intricate designs, much like gold. Silver jewelry thus features as much variety as gold. Silver jewelry has some other uses too. Silver is an excellent choice for astrological rings and pendants.

Silver jewelry is found all over India. However, Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur are the cities known for an amazing variety

of silver jewelry. Hyderabad and Lucknow are also famous for intricate silver jewelry. a silver content as high as 85 per cent.

Silver jewelry mainly comprises of rings, chains, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, nose rings, toe rings, heavy kadas and armlets.

Different parts of India have their own silver jewelry traditions. Each rural community has its distinct designs and patterns. On can identify the tribe or community, social status and even the marital status of a woman wearing traditional silver jewelry, from any part of the country.

The Kutchh and Saurashtra regions of Gujarat have a large number of tribal and nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, each having particularly crafted silver ornaments. Silver jewelry from this region comprises of thick kadas, heavy armlets and long earrings etc.

Rajasthan, which is known for its gold ornaments, also has a rich tradition of silver jewelry. Men and women in the rural areas can be seen bedecked with heavy but elaborate silver ornaments nose rings, bracelets, rings, toe rings, thick ankle bracelets and armlets, pendants for the forehead and the breast. Silver ornaments from Barmer, Bikaner and Alwar follow traditional floral and leaf motifs.

Madhya Pradesh has a distinct and varied folk jewelry tradition. Chattisgarh, Tikamgarh, Jhabua, Bastar, Malwa and Sheopur-Kalan are important centers of folk jewelry.

A variety of silver jewelry plated with gold and semi-precious stones is produced in many southern states. These ornaments are much lighter in weight and are affordable than their gold counterparts. Slight variations to the designs have been made to suite the modern trend.

Earlier people did not use second hand silver ornaments. In the rural areas old silver ornaments were melted to create new ones.

Now days, urban women are rediscovering the charm of traditional silver jewelry. Silver jewelry is made with traditional designs or oxidized to give it an old look. The demand for old silver or second hand old silver ornaments is also on the rise.

These days silver jewelry bearing a traditional design can easily be found across the country as it is made in bulk in centers like Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, Salem in Tamil Nadu and Rajkot in Gujarat. These ornaments are lighter than the old chunky pieces and also have modern motifs on them.

India has become a huge exporter of sterling jewelry in the last decade. Traditional motifs and designs generally adorn the pieces, which are exported.


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