Gems and Jewelry

 

 

Gems And Jewelry

The discussion about Indian crafts and culture is meaningless without the reference to gems and jewelry. Indians have been obsessed with use of gems and jewelry from the beginning of Indian civilization. This obsession is not only fuelled by religious practices and myths but also by economic and social reasons.

Jewelry made of gold, silver, copper, terracotta and beads have been found from various sites belonging to the Indus valley civilization. Though there is some reference to ancient jewelry making, the Mughals rulers took jewelry making to new heights. Not only Islamic designs

and motifs were incorporated into the Indian jewelry tradition, but new techniques like enameling, damascening, engraving and inlaying were introduced by them. The richly adorned and embellished peacock throne of the Mughals is the finest example of their excellence in working with precious metals and stones.

There is a profusion of jewelry styles across the country. All sorts of material like gold, silver, copper, coral, pearl, precious and semi-precious stones are used in making jewelry. Each region has its own distinct flavor, which

reflects local tradition and influences. Rajasthan and Delhi are known for meenakari and enameling. Pearl jewelry is common in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Gold and silver jewelry is common to most regions of the country. Silver predominates most of the traditional jewelry of the tribals.

Gems and semi-precious stones have been used by Indians not only in jewelry pieces but also for medicinal and astrological reasons.

India is the largest importer of gold in the world and it has the largest gem cutting and polishing industry in the world.


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