Types of Indian Jewelry

Jewelry has been used as a body adornment for more than 5000 years in India.Excavation of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, the heart of the Indus Valley civilization, provides jewelry made from materials using agate beads,sea shells and soft gemstones. From then till today, various jewellery  making styles and techniques have developed and evolved. In this article we review different types of Indian Jewellery.

Gold Jewellery:

India is the largest consumer of gold, accounting for more than 20% of the total world gold consumption. Gold jewellery forms around 80% of the Indian jewellery market. Festivals like Dhanteras,Diwali,Akshay Tritya and occassions like wedding are the major days for buying gold jewellery.Pure gold or 24 karat Gold it is extremely soft. Solid Gold Jewellery are made in 18kt, 20kt, or 22kt purity.  This allows the metal to get the durability to last generations.

Diamond Jewellery:

Surat specializes in ornaments decked with diamonds. Every 9 out of 10 diamonds cut and polished in the world hail from India and 75 % of all these diamonds are from the Surat Diamond manufacturers.Several diamonds extracted in India have became a legend around the world- some of them include  the Kohinoor, The Hope Diamond, the Regent Diamond, Darya-e Nur and Nur-Ul-Ain diamond,.

Gold Plated Jewellery:

Gold Plated Jewellery is the next best jewelry to solid gold. Gold plated items carry the same look as Solid Gold Jewellery at a fraction of the cost. Gold Plated jewelry is manufactured by laminating a sheet of gold over a base metal like silver,copper or brass.  The total amount of gold must be at least 5% of the total weight of the piece,at least 7 millionths of an inch of gold in thickness on the surface and at least 18kt Gold in purity. Gold Plated jewelry will last for many years if a good quality base metal is used and handled with care.

Silver Jewellery:

Pure silver cannot be used in making jewelry as it is extremely soft and malleable and it can break easily.925 sterling silver Jewelry is made from an alloy obtained by blending a mix of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metal such as copper.

Pearl Jewellery:

Pearls are mentioned in Rig Veda and Atharva Veda about 3000 years ago and has been associated with moon and peace of mind.Pearl jewelry is mainly made in Hyderabad-the city of pearls.Under the patronage of Nizams, Pearl Jewellery making has flourished in this city for more than 200 years. Pearl Jewellery is mostly made from "Basra Pearls" which has unmatched quality,color and luster.Some pearls stores present in Hyderabad at Patar Gatti and Lad bazaar in Charminar are more than a century old.

Brass Jewelry

Brass Jewelry is made from an alloy containing 2/3 copper and 1/3 zinc.This fashion or costume jewelry is mainly made in Moradabad.

Lakh Jewellery

This jewelry is mainly made in Bikaner.The lac jewellery have an inner-core of a natural substance called lacquer which is mixed with white clay to give it strength. This dough like mass of this mixture is kneaded and hammered over high heat to a desired shape and then decorated with a  thin layer of silver foil,enamel colors,beads and stones.

Meenakari Jewellery

This is mainly made in Rajasthan. Minakari Jewelry is a type of enameled Jewelry in which the surface of the metal ornament is painted and colored in an intricate design.

Kundan Jewellery

This jewelry is mainly made in Jaipur. A unique combination of  ‘Kundan’ (gold frame used as a setting), ‘Jadau' (stone setting), ‘Meena’ (enamelling) and ‘Lac Jewellery’ (laquer filled jewellery) techniques are used to produce highly individual and unusual pieces.In this type of Jewelry uncut diamonds(Polki) are set in a mount of Gold(Kundan).In this method of gem setting a silver foil is inserted between the gemstones and it's mount of lakh. This is then enameled with Meenakari on the back so that it can also be used as a reversible jewelry.

Temple Jewellery:

This jewelry was created as offerings to the gods and goddesses.Later the temple dancers(devdasis) wore the jewelry. Designs of Temple Jewellery are inspired from the stone carvings in various temples all around Tamilnadu in southern India. Today Temple jewellery is commonly used by dancers of Bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi.

Thewa Jewellery:

This jewelry is mainly made in Pratapgarh. Thewa is the art of fusing stenciled and patterned 22k Gold sheet onto a colored glass to create a unit.

Tarakashi Jewellery:

This jewelry is mainly made in Cuttak. Extremely thin wires of silver are set into an intricate design by bending and twisting to form a unique filigree style of jewellery. It is worn during Indian temple dance performance of Odissi.

Ivory Jewellery:

This carved bone jewellery.With the worldwide ban on the harvesting and sale of ivory, the craftsmen are now using camel bone for it's similarities in hardness, texture and color to that of ivory.

Navratna Jewellery:

This unique royal Jewellery is made by using nine gemstones associated with the nine planets. It is worn as a astrological remedy to ward off the ill-effects of planetary doshas (faults).

Tribal Jewellery:

This is handmade jewellery that is made in small batches by the various tribes in villages with each tribe having their own unique designs and style. It is mostly handcrafted from beads and tribal silver metal.

Fashion Jewellery:

Fashion Jewellery is also known as Costume,Imitation or Faux jewelry.India is the second largest manufacturer of imitation jewellery after China.The market for fashion jewellery has increased on account of the sharp rise in gold and silver prices.

Fashion Jewellery makes the look of luxury accessible by reproducing the fine jewelry designs with faux materials. This makes statement pieces available at a more affordable price. This type of jewelry is always in high demand for its affordability, variety of designs,wide range of styles as well as flexibility.