Traditional yet Trending Indian Jewelry Designs in 2023

Indian jewelry has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its intricate designs and vibrant colors. Jewelry has been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries and is deeply rooted in its rich history and traditions. 

From Kundan to Jadau, Meenakari to Temple, Polki to Thewa, and Navratna to Filigree, Indian accessories are known for their elaborate styles, vibrant colors, and unique craftsmanship. However, Indian jewelry has changed with time, taking on techniques and styles from different parts of the country. 

This article provides insights into some of the most famous Indian jewelry styles and explains their meanings.

Kundan Jewelry

Kundan is a popular Indian traditional jewelry style created by placing priceless stones or jewels in gold foil. This type of jewelry was first used in the royal courts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. “Kundan” means “pure gold” in Hindi and carries deep significance for the country’s people.

Gold is shaped into different shapes to create Kundan jewelry, which is then set with precious stones using a wax mold. Once the wax mold is removed, the gold is polished to give it a smooth and lustrous finish.

Jadau Jewelry 

Jadau jewelry typically uses uncut stones, giving it a rustic, vintage appearance. The royal dynasties of Rajasthan and Gujarat helped to promote this Mughal-era jewelry design by incorporating it into their daily wearables.

Jadau is created by heating gold and setting precious stones into it. They are also polished patiently to give them a flawless finish.

Meenakari Jewelry

Meenakari is an enameling technique used to embellish jewelry. Using colorful enamel, elaborate motifs are painted on the jewelry using this technique.

The design is achieved by melting gold and using a brush to apply the enamel on the surface. Afterward, the enamel is baked to fix it in position. 

This jewelry design is commonly preferred over other heavy jewels when celebrating occasions like festivals and weddings. The royal dynasties of Rajasthan and Gujarat helped spread the popularity of meenakari jewelry, which dates back to the Mughal Empire, where it was frequently used. 

Temple Jewelry

The jewelry worn by Indian temple dancers served as inspiration for temple jewelry. It typically has complex depictions of gods and other religious symbols and is fashioned of gold. The gold is shaped into different shapes to create temple jewelry, following which the precious stones are expertly placed. 

The idols of gods and goddesses in temples were decorated with temple jewelry, originating in the southern region of India.

Polki Jewelry

Uncut diamond jewelry, known as “polki,” is well-liked in India. Polki jewelry often has diamonds placed in gold or silver, giving it a rustic and archaic appearance. 

Popularized by the Mughal empire, making Rajasthani polki jewelry designs entails creating a wax mold to place the uncut diamonds into the metal. Once the wax does its job, it is removed, and the metal is polished to give it a flawless appearance.

Polka designs are frequently worn on special occasions, such as weddings, festivals, and religious ceremonies. They can add a touch of glamor and elegance to any look.

Thewa jewelry 

Produced by fusing 23-karat gold onto a glass substrate, Thewa jewelry is known for its unique designs and intricate patterns. The Mughal rulers spread awareness of Rajasthan-made jewelry; they wore it during public gatherings, highlighting its significance.

It forms the gold into different patterns and fuses it into the glass substrate. The jewelry is then embellished with enamel work and colorful stones to give it a vibrant look.

Navratna Jewelry

The nine various types of gemstones used to create this jewelry stand for one of the nine planets each in Indian astrology. 

The concept of Navratna is based on the belief that each planet has a specific influence on an individual’s life and that wearing a combination of gemstones representing all nine planets can help balance the planetary energies and bring good luck and fortune. The jewels, set in gold, are supposed to bring good prosperity and welfare to those who wear them.

Gold and the gemstones are set in a specific order, with a diamond in the center and eight remaining gemstones arranged around it. The design of the jewelry can vary from simple to extravagant and give a distinctive impression.

Huynh Nguyen

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