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Indian Jewelry Guide
[Fashion & Beauty-August 2008]

Buying wedding jewelry is a very important task that takes a great deal of careful planning and paying attention to detail because the jewelry you choose to purchase will not only be reflected on the most important day of your life but will also be a lifetime investment. The very first step is to come up with a wedding budget. About twenty percent of that budget should be set aside towards all the wedding jewelry. Most brides tend to spend about ten thousand dollars on their wedding jewelry. It is more cost efficient to buy all the trousseau jewelry first and then work around all other pieces together.

PIECES OF JEWELRY
The most important pieces of jewelry that every bride should invest in are necklaces, earrings, kadas (armlets), and payal (anklets). Other pieces of jewelry you may choose to incorporate depending on your style and origin are tikka and dhamani, jhumar, bahi (upper arm bracelets), twelve gold bangles, poncha (handlet), kandora (waist chain), and bichhua (toe rings). Jewelry sets can come with a necklace, earrings, ring, tikka, and bangle. Some jewelry sets, however, only come with a necklace and earrings but can be extended to include more pieces if you intend to wear it on your wedding day. It is more cost effective to buy jewelry sets rather than individual pieces and this also ensures that everything matches.

Stunning Bridal Jewelry Sets From Niki Jewels:

CULTURAL FACTORS

A few things to always be kept in mind when jewelry shopping are your personal style, preference and heritage. Your culture may greatly determine the type of jewelry you wear because bridal jewelry tends to vary in different parts of India. Gujarati brides wear ivory, gold and glass bangles (churi) and silver toe rings. Kashmiri brides wear dejharu, which are gold pendants on long chains worn through the top of the ears. Punjabi brides wear tikkas and white or red dyed ivory bangles called hathi dant ka chura. It is common for Muslim brides to wear a jhumaar on one side of the head. In Maharashtra, the necklace of black glass beads and round gold pendant (thali) of the mangalsutra is highly symbolic for a married woman.
In some cultures it is forbidden for gold to be worn on the feet. However, gold plated silver toe rings and payal can be worn in this case. There are three common necklaces worn throughout India. A chikh patti is a collar-style necklace otherwise known as a choker. The gulubandh encircles the base of the neck and a longer necklace usually comes with a set that includes earrings and a ring.

Cultural Jewelry Pieces:

WHERE TO BUY
The cost of your jewelry will be impacted by the type(s) of metal, gems, and any intricate work you choose to incorporate. Although gold is most popular in India, silver is also used in some areas even though it is not as common. Platinum is rare but goes very well with diamonds and tends to be the most expensive. Whether you opt to have your jewelry custom made or not will not create a major price difference because cost is mostly impacted by the intricacies. When trying to select the best quality jewelry be sure to look for craftsmanship, design, and authenticity of the karat of gold. Always buy from well-known and reputable jewelers who have been in business for the longest to ensure you are getting the best. They will also be able to provide a certificate of authenticity.

CHOOSING GEMSTONES
The price of gold is currently 928 per ounce but machine or handwork may vary the cost. You can choose to incorporate precious gems such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds depending on your budget and needs. Several semi-precious options are also available like pearls, topaz, garnet, amethyst, coral, turquoise, lapis, lazuli, glass or crystal, and enamel. The nau lakhaa or nava ratna (nine gems) is jewelry set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topaz, coral, pearls, turquoise and cat’s eye. The latest trend is to have diamonds or colored diamonds such as pink and yellow set in white gold. Remember, to always check for the four C’s when shopping for diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Lovely Gemstone Jewelry From Art Karat’s Princess Collection:

JEWELRY TECHNIQUES:
Different types of techniques are used in different regions such as kundan and meenakari. Kundan is the embedding of crystal or glass into gold leaf coated lacquer. Meenakari is enameling on gold or silver that gives colors like red and green. The symbols made with meenakari are usually of fertility and happiness like elephants, peacocks, fish and leaves. These are made with henna dyed gold. Meenakari gives jewelry an antique finish. Thewa is a four hundred year old art form where heat is fusioned on gold foil into glass.
There are several other styles dating back centuries such as polki which is a Mughal-Rajput style of uncut diamonds. Chakri are small round stones with flat tops and bottoms and faceted borders. Calcutta style of jewelry has intricate filigree called tarkashi kam and ball work called rawa. Gujarati jewelry also has filigree. Kundan and classical work is mostly oriented with the Rajwadi or Rajasthani culture.

IMPORTANCE OF YOUR INVESTMENT
After you have familiarized yourself with the various types of jewelry styles and options that are available to you then you should choose what you feel is best suited to your personal manner. It is not wise to purchase something too trendy if you are trying to save money because it will probably not be in style later on. Be sure to remember that you are making an important investment when you are purchasing wedding jewelry. Shopping around and working with reputable jewelers will get you the best quality and price on all your jewelry. Most important of all be sure to have fun! Buying your wedding jewelry should not be stressful but rather a meaningful and memorable experience for you to enjoy.

[As seen in Fall/Winter 2005 of Shaadi Style]

[photo credits: joshivbeauty.com, dotsofindia.com, fashion-jewelry-manufacturer.com, artkarat.com]

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2 Responses to “Indian Jewelry Guide”

  1. * Says:

    nice article.

  2. wow Says:

    nice……….. ……………………….

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