The land which was once called “Sone ki Chidiya” (in Hindi for “The golden bird”); India is one of the biggest consumers of gold jewelry in the world. Gold has always symbolized wealth, but in Hinduism gold also represents Goddess Laxmi and therefore is considered very auspicious.
In Indian weddings, jewelry plays a vital role, coming right after the bride and groom in the hierarchy of importance. What the bride and groom wear for their ceremonies is often planned years in advance by their families.
With jewelry taking center stage in communities across the country, it has taken on various forms over the years as different regions and cultures add their touches to precious metals and stones.
Here is a list of ‘Where in India can you travel to find what jewelry’
The price of gold differs from state to state in India. For example, you will always find that gold is more expensive in Delhi than in Bangalore. At present, however, the country’s cheapest gold can be purchased in Kerala.
That being said, its know-how also varies from state to state!
Temple Jewelry- Currently in vogue jewelry has its origins in the Chola dynasty in Tamil Nadu, where the precious metal was designed to represent gods and goddesses, ergo the name “Temple”. Although mostly made of gold only, gemstones are sometimes embedded in jewelry to accentuate the patterns.
Peshwai Jewelry- The evergreen jewelry originates from Maharashtra and is also called âMaharashtrian temple jewelryâ.
It is safe to assume that the states mentioned above offer the most spectacular variety of jewelry representing both design schools!
The Panna region in Madhya Pradesh is home to the country’s largest diamond mines. However, it is Surat (the second largest city in Gujarat) which is called the âDiamond Cityâ of India, due to its famous factories and diamond cutting and polishing techniques. In fact, it is said that considerably cheaper diamonds can be purchased in Surat! But it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a real diamond and a man-made diamond, so be sure to buy yours from a trusted source.
The most expensive diamonds carry De Beer’s famous âForevermarkâ, which certifies that the diamond was ethically sourced, hand-picked, untreated and natural. A diamond with a Forevermark also sells for a better price in the retail market, which people often visit when they want to improve their solitaires or trade diamonds.
In India, you are likely to find traditional and contemporary styles of diamond jewelry from the same jeweler. What you get depends solely on your personal style.
3. Jadau jewelry
This colorful traditional jewelry craft in India has its origins in the Mughal era of the country. The term “Jadau” literally means engraved; in this style of jewelry, precious stones like rubies, pearls, emeralds and polki (uncut diamonds) are engraved in 22k gold to form beautiful patterns.
Today, you can find the most exquisite Jadau jewelry in Rajasthan (especially in cities like Jaipur and Bikaner). Craftsmen have been trained for years in the fine arts of jadau jewelry making through a dedicated process. First, the design is created by Chiterias (artisans), then the gemstones are engraved in gold by Ghaarias. It is only once the stones are set that an enameller decorates the back of the jewel in a craft called “Meenakari”.
Kundan jewelry is also a type of jadau jewelry. It represents a rich 2,500-year-old heritage that dates back to the Mughal and Rajput eras. Only the purest form of gold (24 karat or 22 karat) is used to make Kundan jewelry because it is more malleable than its allied forms. The malleability allows the craftsman to sculpt and engrave metal easily.
A pearl necklace is an evergreen piece of jewelry worn with Indian and Western ensembles. However, pearls are natural objects, which makes them rare and expensive (even cheaper than diamonds). The most valuable pearls in the world are South Sea pearls (or Basra Moti – from the Persian Gulf). These pearls are lighter than the others and are certified by the Kingdom of Bahrain!
In India, Hyderabad is considered the capital of the pearl trade, which is why it is also called the âCity of Pearlsâ. Since the days of the Nizams, Hyderabad has been a hub of the pearl trade, perpetuating the art of pear processing and drilling for over 400 years. Three kinds of pearls are available on the market: “original”, cultured and semi-cultured – the original being the rarest and most expensive of all. Although the original Basra Pearl is expensive, it is commercially available; these are the original pink and black pearls which are extremely rare and very difficult to get your hands on.
According to astrology, Pearl holds a lot of power and is considered the birthstone for the month of June. Pearls are said to bring good fortune and marital happiness to their wearers.
No Indian women’s jewelry collection is truly complete without adequate representation of the four categories mentioned above. Have you already started to create your brilliant collection? If not, which of the four would you like to start your jewelry journey with?