Indians are better renowned for their irresistible attraction towards precious metals. Interestingly they don’t keep gold and silver in bank lockers but love to show off them as jewellery particulars beautifying their physical appearances. The jewellery craft is not a new found tradition among Indians but can be found in ancient India also even they developed several styles based on different jewellery themes. Almost all of them are popular now-a-days as a fusion of new and old jewellery styles but the basic Indian jewellery styles are as follow.
Almost all cultures have traditions to beautify brides with beautiful dresses and jewellery; India tops the list as Indian bridal dresses are also decorated with precious metal’s work. Certainly India has no competition in its bridal jewellery collection which includes Solah Singar items with extremely gorgeous bridal costume.
Gold, a religious icon of Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth is honored by every Indian regardless their faith. Preferred as the topmost favorite investment, gold jewellery is used to wear and to secure rainy days by the Indians, so it has financial value too.
Also known as Kundankari, Kundan Jewellery spread out from Rajasthan to other states of medieval India. In Mughal era, it was developed as a fusion of ancient Indian jewellery and Mughal style crafts. Kundan jewellery required a highly expertise to create the magic. Now-a-days Jadau jewellery is used to create custom jewellery also.
Meenakari is a specialization of Kundan jewellery. A craftsman uses different colors and stones with melting gold to create state-of-art designs creating it unique and eye-catching. Usually Meenakars (meenakari artists) creates shapes of animals, birds, religious icons to decorate the jewellery particular.
Custom jewellery is designed by jewellery designers to give a personalized touch so that he/ she can look different in the crowd. Custom jewellery reflects the wearer’s personality and matches with their attire.
Stone jewellery is more popular these days. Stone jewellery can be crafted using precious metal also, though many of them such as necklace, malas, bands, etc. are made without using gold and silver.
Navratna jewellery is a single ornament crafted with precious metal and nine auspicious stones as per ancient Hindu literature. Navratna jewellery is used to remove side effects of all grahas (planets in astrology) and to make them suitable for all days. Nine stones are diamond (for Sukra), Ruby (for Surya), Sapphire (for Shani), Garnet (for Rahu), Cat’s eye (for Ketu), Pearl (for Chandra), Topaz (for Guru), Emerald (for Budh) and Coral (for Mangal).
Unlike traditional jewellery, fashion jewellery can be worn in daily routine. It is crafted with lighter and cheaper material like bronze, steel, leather and follows the latest trend in the market rather than utilized as a lifelong wealth.
In filigree jewellery, silver is used as a foundation base to craft different designs. In ancient world, filigree jewellery was popular among Egypt, Italy, Spain and India. Currently India is a pioneer in the tradition and exports to other countries.
Firstly discovered in Indus Valley civilization, bead jewellery is crafted with beads made of gold, silver, copper, ivory, sandalwood and precious stones. One of the ancient arts, bead jewellery is getting popular again for special occasions.
While handmade jewellery is considered as out-dated in the rest of the world, Indians are bewitched by handmade jewellery. According to government reports millions of jewellery craftsmen are creating handmade jewellery for desi peoples to earn their livelihood.
Made from the tusk of an elephant, ivory jewellery has become an international identity of India. Mainly ivory work is done by the artists in Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and other parts of the country.
The jewellery which is not in vogue and was an old world’s charm is defined as antique jewellery. However these are not in fashion but are preferred by jewellery lovers to enrich their heritage jewellery collection.
India enjoys a rich heritage of tribal jewellery. The south Asian sub-continent has over 3000 tribes in its skirt area and each of them has its own tribal fashion icons regarded as tribal jewellery. Generally tribal jewellery is made using woods, silver, glass, peacock feathers, copper, wild flower and beads, bamboo, coral and coins.
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