- What is Kundan Jewellery?
Kundan jewellery is an amalgamation of gemstone and glass jewellery, set between gold foils. Its special features include precious and semi-precious polished gemstones crafted in layers upon layers of beautiful compositions.
Kundan means highly refined pure gold, and often expensive jewellery pieces involve 24k pure gold. Another term for the traditional Kundan or the technique is Kundan Keshari.
Jaipur: Jaipur in Rajasthan is known as the centre for the best Kundan designs, specifically the Johri Bazaar in Jaipur. Bikaner and Nathdwara are also well-known for their Kundan craft. Big cities in Gujarat, like Ahmedabad and Baroda also sell great Kundan Jewellery. Delhi and Hyderabad are also excellent destinations to go Kundan shopping.
- Origin of Kundan Jewellery
India’s passion for jewellery began more than 5000 years ago with the emergence of Indus Valley civilization, which resulted in innumerable jewellery styles in India crafted to date.
The craft of Kundan jewellery blossomed in the royal courts of Rajasthan and Gujarat under the rule of the Mughals from the 16th century onwards. However, the craft was practiced before the Mughals. The technique paved its way to the courts of Gujrat and Rajasthan from Delhi courts. Due to its resplendent appearance and extravagance, Kundan was commissioned by Kings and statesmen of ancient India not only in the form of jewellery but was also used to embellish royal attires and furniture.
- Making of Kundan Jewellery
A Kundan masterpiece creation requires extensive working hours. The process is very complicated; it requires a finely skilled craftsman designated for each stage of its creation.
The process begins with the laying of the skeletal framework known as “Ghaat”.
The next step is known as “Paadh” in which the natural resin or lac is poured into the skeleton, and the basic shape of the jewellery piece is created.
The making proceeds with the laying of uncut, shaped, polished gemstones and glass pieces onto the framework known as “Khudai”. For a refined look, more Kundan is used, and edges are polished with melted gold. Details are finessed with Meenakari to make a piece more intricate.
It is followed by the process called “Pakai” where further gold foils are added to hold the layers firmly.
In the final stage, “Chilai” the gemstones are finely polished.
The combination of Kundan and Meenakari makes a jewellery piece a reversible so that it can be worn from either side.
Kundan is commonly combined with pearls, diamonds, emeralds, sapphire, topaz, ruby, agate, garnet, crystal, amethyst, and jade.
IDENTIFication of REAL KUNDAN?
- An efficient and promising way to identify real Kundan jewellery is by placing a magnet near the piece. If the Kundan jewellery is attracted to the magnet, then it is fake.
- If a Kundan Jewellery piece turns black, it can be fake. If it contains silver and it doesn’t turn dark after some time, then it some other metal rather than gold.