What is the heart and soul of costume jewellery? Undoubtedly gemstones. They have been used since ancient times and stand out for their colour, lustre, cutting style, and rarity. This is what makes them distinct from other mineral crystals. Moreover, they come with healing powers. But do you know about the types and designs of precious and semi-precious stones jewelry?
Worry not. This article will educate you about the types of gemstones jewelry.
History of Gemstone Jewelry in India
Several pieces of Gemstones Jewelry have been found in the remains of ancient civilisations. This goes to show that gemstone jewelry was also popular during that era. Even Ramayana and Mahabharat document the healing powers of gemstones and how kings and queens wore them.
It is heartening to know that the gemmological reserves of India fascinated the Mughals so much, that it led to their setting up of the empire in India. Stone craftsmanship prospered during the Mughal era in almost all parts of India. Gemstones and Semi precious stones were used to make the jewelry pieces to be worn by kings and queens of that time.
It was during the Victorian era that India emerged as a trading hub of precious stones and semi-precious stones.
The best part is that even today, India produces the finest gemstone-studded jewels in the world.
Different Forms of Gemstone Jewelry in India
There are different ways in which precious and semiprecious gemstones are set by the Indian jewellery designers. Some of the forms are as ancient as the hills – about 5000 years back, whereas some are in the experimental stage.
Let us enlighten ourselves about the types of precious and semiprecious stones.
When it comes to precious stones names, there are so many, that it is almost a mini guide to itself. There is Alexandrite, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Citrine, Diamond, Emerald, Fancy Diamonds, Garnet, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Morganite, Opal, Paraiba, Pearls, Peridot, Rubellite, Ruby, Sapphire, Spinel, Tanzanite, Topaz, Tourmaline, Turquoise, and Zircon.
Are you running out of breath? Have a glass of water as there is something more interesting coming up – the types of precious and semi-precious stone jewelry.
1. Kundan Jewelry
Ask your great grand-mom and they will verify that traditional Indian wedding trousseau is incomplete without Kundan jewelry. In this jewelry art form, a gem is mounted with a pure gold foil. This gives it a unique identity from the neighbouring gems. Jaipur is extremely popular for Kundan jewelry.
In the modern context, enamelling with vivid colours is being done to bring about several variations in Kundan jewelry making. You will be surprised to know that there is something called silver set Kundan jewellery, which is getting to be popular in youngsters in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Bihar.
2. Jadau Jewelry
Also called ‘Enamelled’ Jewelry, the Jadau jewelry is worn on special-cum-auspicious occasions, like marriage or any other festivities. A number of semi-precious and precious stones, crystals and beads are embedded in a solid gold base. This jewelry art form has become popular in the West as well.
Nowadays, the Jadau art has gone one-step ahead – it is complemented with Meenakari or enamelling, which gives a unique color scheme to the ornament. A Polki or uncut diamond is also chosen in the form of a central stone to add aesthetic value to the Jadau ornament.
3. Lac Jewelry
The lac or lacquer jewlery was earlier limited to just Rajasthani tribes, but today, its market is huge and expanding. Lac ornaments like Bajuband, Bangles, and Timaniyan, form an integral part of many designer collections.
Earlier, mirrors and glass beads were used by the tribes to beautify the lac ornament. Nowadays, Semi precious stones are also studded to add to the aesthetic value. Since lac jewelry is comparatively affordable, it is the go-to option in youngsters.
4. Navaratna Jewelry
The word Navaratna means nine auspicious stones set together in a single ornament. And what are these 9 gems? They are ruby, pearl, diamond, emerald, coral, cat’s eye, sapphire, topaz, and garnet. Each stone has a specific purpose to it. Example – Ruby wards off evil spirits, coral is for curing diseases and to enhance memory functions, Pearl is for maintaining peace (keep ‘thanda dimaag’), Topaz for long life of the wearer and emeralds to evade trickery.
Though the Navaratna jewelry combination was mostly used in rings and pendants, they are now used in a number of ornaments, such as earrings, bangles, armlets, and various others.
5. Pachchikam Jewelry
Originated centuries ago in Gujarat, Pachchikam Jewelry remains an essential component of contemporary fashion jewelry. The similarity to Kundan work cannot be ruled out, but it has a more fragile look. Uncut Semi precious stones and glassworks are used to make Pachchikam jewelry.
Earlier, gold and platinum were used as a base for Pachchikam artwork. Nowadays, silver is used for the affordability angle.
6. Beaded Jewelry
Once limited to few states, such as Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab, beaded jewelry is well known in other parts of the world. In olden days, stone-studded beads strung together, were used as hair accessories, anklets and armlets. Presently, bead and stone jewelry ornaments are combined – where the stones are studded centrally and the beads are threaded in the periphery.
7. Contemporary Stone Jewelry
Most of you may be eager to know about this part. Well, contemporary stone jewelry uses a combo of precious stones and semi-precious stones in an unconventional way, so that you get an up-to-date jewel. For setting the stones, sterling silver is often used as a base. Sometimes, copper and brass are used as the foundation metal in order to make the ornaments budget-friendly.
A note about semi-precious stones –
They can also be used in “gem therapy”, because they have a colour, which helps ease off depression, stress, insomnia, loss of appetite, and many other diseases.
So gemstones also have therapeutic properties, apart from the visual appeal, which makes the stone-studded jewels even more valuable.
How did you find the types and designs of precious and semi-precious stones jewelry? Have more to add to the list? Write back and tell us.