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Indian Jewelry Art – the Lavish Palette of Colors

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Indian Jewelry ArtIndia is the country of such cult items as lotus and fanciful architectural ornaments, songs of sweet and forever-lasting love and freedom. All these themes are symbolized in Indian accessories, in liking for jewelers to large semi-precious stones, delicate metal laces, harmony of mismatched and riot of colors. The peculiarity and vividness are two concepts to fully characterize the style of the jewelry art of India. Every modern admirer of jewelry items dreamed even once in life to try on the purple Indian dress – sari, decorate the hands with a plenty of gold bracelets, twist the ankles with the delicate laced chains, and use the «bindi», a tiny accessory in the middle of the forehead and feel like an exotic princess.

The history of Indian jewelry

The history of Indian jewelry is tightly connected with the development of the culture. The evolution was depicted in literature, in paintings, frescos with compulsory elements of decoration.

The first jewelry was used four thousand years back B.C. That jewelry was unique presented in the tiny beads of gold, silver and other materials connected as long chains. With the improvement of the development of precious stones around 300 year B.C. the versatile glimpse of diamonds was added to the cold metal of accessories. The golden jewelry with semi-precious stones was evenly liked by both men and women. So, in India there is the habit for men to wear earrings and bracelets. This is somewhat the indicator of manhood and the adherence to particular caste. The jewelry was the only item for a woman to take on her escaping from the previous married life and the number of plenty of bracelets proves this fact.

It does not mean at all that the jewelry should be made from the expensive components. On the contrary, the diamonds can ideally match the rough copper, coral beads, ivory and various non-precious stones and metals. Though, there are two particular types of Indian jewelry which differ in performance technique and materials used.

Minakar and Kundan

Minakar is the technique of manufacture of jewelry accessories with application of enamel coating. The gold is the base for cross jewelry, and the silver is often the luxury item for various caskets and frames for pictures. The color gamut of the enamel is varied and sometimes the rainbow of colors is seen on the smallest spot of jewelry. This is the laborious and labor-intensive work and thus, there are three family schools of Manickar style in India engaged in manufacture of such items, though the jewelry accessories are still exclusive and thus, costly.

Kundan is the technique of jewelry manufacture from gold of 22 or 24 carats incrusted with precious stones. The zest of Kundan jewelry is the unique fastening of semi-precious gems and minerals with the help of golden foil.

Mena Kundan is the triumphant blend of two styles in a single jewelry item. One side of the jewelry shows the lavish colors of enamel while the others boast with the prosperity of precious metals and gems. A velvet band is put under the jewelry to avoid contact of enamel with the skin.

Design of Indian jewelry

There is no margin for the variety of Indian jewelry. Apart from the traditional earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces, the popular are the ankle chains, tow rings, bindi jewelry and tika for the head, studs and rings for nose piercing, sarpechi as the accessory for hats. The sources of inspiration for Indian jewelers are the kingdom of animals, birds and plants. The motif of lotus images, jasmine, leaves of particular herbs like pipala, the sacred tree of life, fruits, sun and stars. Sarpechi is made in the shape of peacocks, brilliant diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The jewelry tkhali is too popular in the south of India which is used for wedding functions. The accessory is presented as the golden chain with plenty of symbolic pendants and the major phallic element.

The Indian jewelry is the source of information about the wearer; this is like reading something in the book. The special necklace called mangalsutra tells about the marital status of a woman, the bracelets allows to find out how many children she has and of what sex, and the material tells about the adherence to the particular caste. So, golden bracelets for ankles are designed for women from higher society.

Designers inspired by motifs of India

Eastern countries are the places to inspire the jewelers of the world. The reputed Jewelry House Carrera y Carrera launched the juicy collection Taj Mahal with the variety of precious stones, gold and feathers. So, the earrings and pendants in blue shades are made from the white gold, incrusted with diamonds and topaz of the blue color and vivid color feathers painted in rich sky-blue.

The history of the brand Cartier is inseparably connected with India for over many long years since 1926 when Louis-Francois Cartier and the Indian maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala met each other. The collection of jewelry Inde Mysterieuse is stunning for the rich shapes, details, match of various materials and fairy tale beauty. Cartier incarnated Indian motifs in jewelry and applied the ancient technique of precious gems faceting which is known as Tutti Frutti.

Thus, the diamond necklace is made from three-layered «threads» with the pendant of the juicy green emerald at 37,8 carats of briolet shape which is rarely used by Indian jewelers. The jewelry from the collection Inde Mysterieuse is distinguished from the plenty of large color gems, including massive brooches and rings with carved amethysts and sapphires, heavy tourmalines and diamonds as pendants.

The reputed floral motifs are seen in collections of such jewelry houses as Boucheron, Leon Hatot or Brumani. The necklace made with elements that resemble the branches of the sacred tree, the flower of lotus from white and yellow gold, incrusted with the diamonds and pink sapphires.

The theme of animal kingdom is perfectly demonstrated by the jewelers of Cartier as Bengal tigers from yellow gold and platinum, incrusted with diamonds and black onyxes, while the designer Jean Boggio created rings and pendants with the image of elephants.

Ladies prefer exotics

Not only Indian maharajas and princesses prefer massive necklaces, rings and bracelets but also first ladies and Hollywood celebrities are willing to own such jewelry. The jeweler Pieter Erasmus got inspired with the book about the Indian history White Moguls to create the amazing jewelry – the necklace for Michelle Obama, the First Lady of USA. The pearls from the bottom of river are stringed to metal threads perfectly matched with Swarovski crystals.

The famous singer Gwen Stefani is the admirer of foot bracelets of various techniques from golden miniature chains to massive metallic bands with engraving. She prefers wide accessories with ornamental patter with Sanskrit writing as the necklaces.

The Indian jewelry force thee miniature jewelry of strict lines out more and more. The lack of rich colors in modern cities and the speed of life allow the person to pay attention to holidays, riot of luxury and colors and flamboyance. The jewelry styled Indian maharajas make the dull weekdays more vivid and rich and allow touching the magic of East and feel the life as a Queen.

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