India is a treasure trove of unique jewelry styles, ancient and modern, trendy and traditional, but nothing holds a place in the hearts of Indian jewelers like golden jewelry. This precious metal began to be used as ornamentation right from ancient times, not just in India, but all over the world. In India, gold is considered an extremely auspicious metal, and in Hindu culture is called the ‘metal of the gods’.
Its long life and durable beauty are supposed to symbolize immortality which is why Indian gold jewelry is considered a must for weddings, ceremonies and other festivals. This is why when it comes to gold jewelry, India has the widest array of the most beautiful designs.
For many Indian families, gold is not just a beautiful decorative metal, but also a solid investment. Gold Indian jewelry is a frequent purchase at auspicious festivals and weddings and is given as gifts or inheritance to the bride. It was also a favorite metal of the royals in India and golden jewelry artisans were therefore given generous patronage over the years.
This led to the emergence of a plethora of interesting designs and gold crafting techniques, which remain popular to this day. In India, gold jewelry includes pieces made of pure gold as well as pieces combining gold settings with precious stones, crystals or other materials.
Variety Of Gold Jewelry
Of the many different types of gold jewelry from India, it is hard to pinpoint one definitive style. Each region has a different technique and style that are exemplary. For instance, in south India, the golden jewelry designs are quite ornate and intricate, reflecting mythological influences in the form of religious and nature-based motifs.
South Indian gold jewelry designs use the finest gold but almost never have any precious stones, as the women there prefer the sheen and elegance of pure gold.
Another popular type of golden jewelry design is the filigree technique. It is a complex technique which molds the gold into beautiful shapes resembling flowers, fruits, birds and other popular ethnic motifs. Tarkasi jewelry made of gold is one of the most delicate subtypes of filigree jewelry, displaying exquisite meshes wrought into various circular shapes.
In other parts of India, gold is the one and only metal used as a setting for dazzling traditional jewelry. Kundan sets from Rajasthan were the favored jewels of the erstwhile royalty and were made from the purest gold. The gold was used to create artistically designed settings into which precious and semi-precious stones were set.
Gold was also used as a setting for uncut diamonds, resulting in the unique Polki jewelry style. When it comes to these types of traditional gold jewelry, India based designers often opt for antique gold, which, with its distinctive blackness, creates a uniquely ethnic effect for the jewelry. Thewa jewelry is usually embossed with beautiful colors but uses a molten gold sheet as base. Its distinguishing characteristic is the large pendant with artistic designs or depictions of gods, mythological figures and scenes from the epics.
Apart from these traditional varieties, there are also many different types of trendy and modern Indian gold jewelry which utilize these ancient techniques to produce more simplistic or western-influenced designs. Some of these are very simple and can even be worn on a daily basis. Many women prefer Indian gold plates jewelry for normal parties and festivals, as it is just as beautiful as the ‘pure’ varieties but much less costly.
Wearing gold jewelry from India is all about balancing the various elements of the outfit with the jewelry. It is always better to pick one element, either the dress or the jewelry, and make it the talking point of the look. For instance, a beige salwar kameez overlaid with golden net fabrics can be beautifully accentuated with a large Polki necklace set in gold. With a shimmering Kanjeevaram saree with large gold borders, a simple gold pendant set with subtle but intricate designs would be a good addition. In fact any silk saree embroidered with gold thread will match well with south Indian gold jewelry.
The one exception to the above-stated rule is at a wedding. A bride is expected to be dressed up from head to toe in the most ornate manner and this extends to the jewelry as well.
A full Kundan set comprising of a necklace, earrings, bangles, rings, nose rings, mang-tikka and even anklets, is the dream jewelry for many Indian bride. It matches beautifully with traditional Banarasi sarees, embellished lehenga cholis, and bridal salwar kameez. Even the guests can get away with large gold sets at a wedding as long as it does not look too flashy or over-the-top.