The grandeur and the opulence of the Indian raj have left many impressions yet none more so than in the field of jewelry making. Back then, magnificent pieces that left people spellbound were routinely made for the royalty. Elaborate jewelry was symbolic of their royal status and power. Kundan work was one of the techniques used for encrusting spectacular pieces of gems and stones that were abundantly found in the treasuries of these aristocrats. Know more about Indian royalty and their love for jewelry here.
Like everything Kundan jewelry has also adapted itself to the demands of the modern age yet has managed to retain its old world charm. The stunning simplicity of Kundan makes it by far the most coveted piece of ceremonial jewelry. You’ll find them aplenty in any wedding trousseau. It is also the most traded jewelry craft, again testimony to its great appeal.
Know your Jewelry
The ancient technique of encrusting precious and semi-precious stones in necklaces, earrings and other pieces probably gave birth to Kundan. Refined over time this ancient form of jewelry making evolved into what we know as Kundan jewelry.
Way before, Kundan jewelry was created with uncut, natural diamonds but eventually, to make the craft affordable some artisans started using glass instead of diamonds thus giving rise to two distinct styles of jewelry, Kundan and Polki. Polki jewelry uses the same technique but uses real uncut natural diamonds while Kundan uses glass and other semi-precious stones.
Kundan jewelry flourished under the Mughal rule and later spread across the country, incorporating different techniques and styles. Today this popular jewelry form is a specialty of Rajasthan with Bikaner, Jaipur, as it main manufacturing hubs.
Must have Kundan piece
Kundan Chandabali or crescent earrings
These are a rage and on our must have list. You would have seen them on at least ten different occasions and on most of the glitterati.
Big chunkier ones are the best since they can carry a look without much addition.
There are different types of chandabali like full crescent, half crescent, multi-tier. Each can look stunning, however, stick to heavy one as a must have.
Find some styles below and more here
Multi-layer Kundan necklace
If you have been following the fashion circuit then you would have surely noticed this trend.
Aim for a dramatic look, opt for five strings or more.
Find some styles below and here
How to choose a good quality imitation Kundan jewelry that looks like real
I know, we are not buying the real stuff ( and if you are, here is a great article to help buy the best quality) yet we don’t want to end up looking like a cheap imitation of the real thing. We want to look as close to the real stuff as we can, right. Here are some tips which will guide you in making a perfect choice.
- Look for pieces that are gold plated. They are skin friendly and long lasting if you take proper care. Choose silver for resell value, or brass if you want something easy on the pocket. If you are interested find more about metals here.
- Finishing like meenakari work (enameling) on the reserve of the jewelry not only make it pleasing to the eye but also protects the metal thereby increasing its life. It is also closest to real Kundan work which often has meenakari on it.
- Low-quality glass or plastic makes the jewelry look glassy and cheap. Choose pieces that use cubic zirconia, rhinestone, and other clear crystals to get the rich and luxuriant feel of real Kundan jewelry.
- Opt for jewelry that feels heavy when you pick up. The weight of a piece affects the way it hangs and moves. Flimsy, light weight ones not just affect how the piece hangs but it also make it look low quality.
- Stay away from light-colored, bright metals instead choose slightly darker metals. A darker shade looks rich and closer to the real thing.
- Look for craftsmanship, untidy edges make the piece look cheap and unattractive.