Posted on 24-Feb-2018 11:50:45
When we remember our granny, mom and aunts saying with that glow and pride “Hamaari shaadi mein babuji ne Kundan set diya tha” you can well make out the historical importance and prestige value of Kundan necklace in bridal wedding trousseau.
Indians and their jewelry legacies are truly awesome, traditional, and vintage. Kundan is one such traditional form of jewelry coming from the royal courts of Rajasthan and Gujarat which not only makes these two states but the entire nation proud.
Heard of Meena Kundan? It is a variation which has Kundan detailing on the front part of the jewelry piece and Meena work in the form of enamelling (done with colours and patterns) on the reverse side.
Brought to the country and flourishing under Mughal era, Kundan involves a gem set with gold foil between the stones. The word Kundan itself means highly refined gold, which explains the use of highly refined and pure form of molten gold.
The city of Jaipur has been the coveted centre of Kundan jewelry in India. It is also known as Bikaneri jewelry. Cinematically, it might be tough to forget Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the film Jodhaa Akbar, but do you know she wore Kundan jewellery extensively in this period film so as to emphasise its influence among the Rajasthan royalty? Devdas and Paheli are other films which have encashed upon Kundan jewelry. It goes without saying that Kundan jewelry has been a big hit with the Bollywood divas.
Kundan jewelry stands out for its intricate and detailed designs. Precious and semi-precious stones such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, topaz and sapphires are used.
If you talk of market share, in the year 2006, Kundan Jewelry has contributed the largest share in the Indian jewellery market - about 73 per cent in terms of market value and volume. Thats Kundan-nomics for you!
The process of Kundan making is as intricate as the name suggests. Uncut diamonds and multi-colored gemstones (polished ones) are set into pure gold or faux metal base. This elaborate process starts with the skeletal framework called Ghaat. Then begins the Paadh procedure in which the wax is poured on the framework and suitably molded as per the design. This is followed by the Khudai process which involves the fitting of uncut gems or stones into the framework. The next step is Meenakari - the enamelling part. And then the Pakai process which involves gold foils which help in holding the gems into the framework. Finally, the gems are polished by making use of the Chillai process.
As you can see, the uniqueness of Kundan jewelry lies in the manner it is set. No doubt it involves skilled artisans to make this jewelry exclusive and par excellence.
Have a look at this Video. It will give you a closer look of the Kundan setting in the
making of an earring.
Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_HluttcJcw
In any Kundan jewelry set, it is the necklace which is the central point. The necklace can be crafted in the choker style or a closed collar one. It can be a light one (accompanied with heavy bracelets) or heavily encrusted one. Nowadays, the trend focus is on lighter pieces which are suitable for party wear, and not heavy ones reserved for weddings or similar occasions. In fact, Kundan earrings can be apt for evening wear without the need of any other accessory. The lesser, the better!
Buying Kundan is like buying a piece of heirloom. It has to be true to its regality and heritage value. Can there be any short cuts in the manufacturing process? How should the Kundan lover in you make out that what you are buying is genuine?
Well, it is like this.
The older the Kundan jewelry, the more “intricate” its design is, and is more “true” to the colour.
Secondly, genuine crystals set in Kundan have an opaque appearance to it, whereas an artificial kundan set in crystal has a transparent shimmery look considering that glass has been used and not crystals. Moreover, colored tinfoil is used under the stones to give the false impression of color. If there are any tiny dents or fissures, then the Kundan piece you are holding in your hand is flawed and far from accuracy.
I hope this blog on Kundan Jewellery will make you a learned Kundan buyer as well. Should you have any styling or shopping queries on the same, write to us in the comments or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Source: wikipedia.org, kundanjewelery.com)