Kundan jewelry is one of the oldest, royal and enthralling styles of jewelry. Today it is one of the jewelry styles in rage liked by the fashion-holic people. It has transformed the whole festive attire of people of India.
The word ‘Kundan’ means highly – refined gold. Kundan jewelry has an intriguing effect on fashionistas because of its intricate designs. The jewelry embellished with the royal design which gives a classic and elegant look.
It is a unique style of jewelry design in which various gemstones are embedded with gold called as ‘Kundan’ which create winsome masterpieces. It is believed that Kundan jewelry style was flourished first in Delhi court in Mughal era. Then this style of making jewelry was popularised slowly in the country. It is said that the artisans migrated and settled in Rajasthan and Gujarat which is the hub of royal provinces. Rajasthan is a center of royal patronage, provinces, forts, citadels. And in this royal environment, people often adorn Kundan Jewelleries.
The making of these extremely elegant pieces of Kundan is a very long and precarious process. It includes very different procedures and lots of craftsman and artisans with a variety of skill sets.
This Kundan work is mainly about embedding gemstones with molten gold content. It includes four indigenous processes as follows below:
- Ghaat: firstly, the gold sheets are beaten with hands and made thin to evolve as a frame and at the same time molten gold sheets are made into a cup-like shape to hold stones.
- Padh: These cup-like shapes are then filled with tree wastes which work as adhesive called lakh or lac which act as a binding agent with gold to hold the gemstones.
- Kudai: Then insertion of stones is done through hot coal. The lac is covered by this gold film which is inserted with very small stick on the frame to give the perfect shine and glossy look to gemstones. These are various types of frames used for making Kundan art jewelry having a variety of patterns. Meenakari jewelry style that is done using enamel of vivid and vibrant colors on various frames and gemstones.
- Pakai: Finally the gold film, frames, and gemstones and welded together to give a stupendous set of a stylish looking classic masterpiece. Then jewelry is washed to remove dark spurs and then the perfect and astounding piece of art came into our hand.
The Kundan art has a special process of making each and every art pieces, with the demand over time these styles also evolve in many phenomenal types.
- Kundan: In this style of jewelry people generally embrace gemstones or glass with gold, not diamonds. artisans use molten gold to make Jewellery segments.
- Polki: Polki is a jewelry style similar to Kundan in terms of technique. The main difference is here the uncut diamonds are used and set with gold, not glass which makes these piece more lustrous, glistening and also more expensive.
- Meenakari: This a very popular style of jewelry brought to India from Persia. This process involves creations of intricate and colorful designs on front and back of the jewelry pieces using enamels of evocative colors. This is one of the unique and voguish Kundan jewelry styles which are in big trend.
- Jado: It is a technique used for the creation of jewelry in which the jewelry is made by softening gold and then setting precious gemstones on it and when gold becomes firm, stone hold and adhere it without any adhesive.
Commercial Market Products:
This ornamentation looks gorgeous in any designs. The various types of market products are earrings, huge necklaces sets, pendants, bracelets, rings, toe-rings, bracelets, and brooches on turban called ‘Safas’ of Rajasthan, India. These pieces of jewelry are in huge demand everywhere.
Even in Bollywood also Kundan jewelry and accessories leave a remarkable presence. Films like ‘Padmavat’, the lead actress Deepika Padukone wears exquisite Kundan sets. In ‘Jodha – Akbar’ Aishwariya rai look stunning in royal princess look embellished herself with Kundan sets.
Current Market Scenario:
Today these works are mainly popular in cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, and Nathdwara and also having a high market price. As this jewelry style uses 24-carat molten gold, the price of Kundan sets goes high and after the invention of ‘Polka’ which uses diamonds, the price and status of this jewelry become extremely high.
As with modern times, the prices of these are increasing, so people started making imitation jewelry of the same. In these artisans uses silver, copper or local gemstones instead of gold and diamond for making affordable to poor and middle-class people. The trend or graph of Kundan jewelry has majorly hiked in past few years and as they are shown if Bollywood films the popularity even goes high.
This jewelry, with royal shades, has an elegant and dazzling effect, which make it a desire of every woman.
Exploring Various Kudan Jewelry Pieces:
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