Everything You Need To Know About Kundan Jewellery February 15, 2020 – Posted in: Blog, Design, Wedding Inspirations – Tags: #bigkundannecklace, #goldkundansetdesigns, #rajasthanikundanjewellerydesign, #southkundanjewellery
Kundan jewellery is a popular type of Indian gemstone jewellery that is desired by most women. Favoured for weddings and special occasions, kundan keshri, as it is also known, showcases an amazing, elaborate form of art. It involves carefully setting polished precious or semi-precious stones, and uncut diamonds called Polki. The stones are set with a gold foil that sits between them and their mount. The name kundan means refined gold, which refers to the pure molten gold foil used as a mount for the gems.
How is kundan jewellery made?
The process of making kundan jewellery is challenging and even skilled craftsmen may need months to complete a single kundan necklace. What’s more, it’s not the job of just one artisan; there are usually a lot of people involved in the entire process, working on the various aspects of kundankari, till the piece or set is ready to be worn.
The process starts with a step called Ghaat, which is the skeletal framework of the piece. Then wax is poured into the frame and moulded as per the design, and this is called the Paadh procedure. The next step is called the Khudai, wherein the stones and diamonds are fit into the piece. Next comes Meenakari which consists of enameling to add detail to the design, following which gold foils are cold soldered using burnishing to hold the gems in the Pakai process. Lastly the gems are polished by a technique called Chillai, and the item is ready.
The origins of Kundan Jewellery in India
One of the oldest forms of jewellery in India, kundan is said to be brought to the country by the Mughals. While it dates back thousands of years, its origins can be traced to North India, mainly Delhi. It was popularized by the Mughals, and seen in the royal courts in their era. It then flourished in Rajasthan and Gujarat as well. Although the original designs were made in gold, it later got successfully popular with the common man when it was copied to silver. Nowadays, they are also made in a faux metal base. In contemporary times, kundan jewellery is world famous, and the best place to get a piece or set is said to be Rajasthan, with Jaipur, Bikaner and Nathdwara being the epicentres for kundan jewellery in India.
Popular styles and variations
In the olden days, goldsmiths would try to set uncut stones into their jewellery designs, which may have resulted in the conception of this jewellery type. Jadau also uses this same style of setting stones with gold foil, instead of rims or clasps. In Kundan jewellery, you’ll find many styles and forms to choose from. The most traditional style is the meena kundan, where stones are set on one side, and the other side is embellished with enamel or meenakari designs. Conceptualized to enhance the look of kundan pieces, meenakari is now just as famous as the kundan. Another variation is Bikaneri or Jaipuri jewellery, where there are enamals or designs on the reverse side of the kundan setting.
Today, kundan jewellery is mostly seen in the bride’s traditional wedding trousseau. Originally, it often came as a complete set, comprising of an ornate necklace, with bangles or bracelets and earrings to match. In recent times, you can find these pieces individually as well as in the form of a set. Kundan rings and hair accessories are also available. You will see a lot of rani haars and chokers, kundan pendants, bangles, earrings and more. These statement pieces are very elaborate and the work on them is beautiful and intricate. Traditional and heavy, it is perfect for the most special occasions in life. For tighter budgets, imitation kundan jewellery is a great alternative.
Where can you buy kundan jewellery in India?
Although Rajasthan is the most popular state in India for kundan jewellery in India, you will find jaw-dropping designs all over the country. Most big cities and metros have designers that offer exquisite kundan sets. You can also get your beautiful designs online for both brides and grooms by customizing on sites like AuGrav.com
In conclusion, kundan jewellery is a wonderful reminder of the elite rajkumars and rajkumaris that once ruled in India. It is traditional, royal, and a representation of India’s rich heritage and grandeur. Although it’s a long and arduous process, each painstakingly made piece of kundan work is definitely worth the purchase. So if you want something that’s intricate, elaborate, and a reflection of skilled craftsmanship, then kundan jewellery is the right choice for you. It will make a wonderful addition to a regal and elegant bridal trousseau.
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