For many centuries, the only people who were able to afford jewelry were royals and nobles. They were the only folks with the money and power to purchase gorgeous and heavy jewelry styles made of precious metals and real jewels. This was the case in almost every country in the world, from India to Britain and much of Europe. The situation changed with the advent of the industrial revolution, which resulted in many new types of machines and technologies being invented. These had a huge impact of metallurgy and jewelry making. The classic jewelry crafting techniques could now be utilized to create more affordable pieces made with cheaper substitutes or imitation materials. This led to the birth of imitation jewelry which had a huge impact on women’s fashions and trends. Not only were the classic styles now available to a larger customer base, newer varieties could be created by jewelry makers without any problems. The variety of options increased tremendously and a lot of new styles of jewelry were created with the growth of the imitation jewelry industry.
The best part of imitation jewelry is that unlike fashion or costume jewelry it does not have a tacky look at all. It is crafted and created with the same care as ‘real’ jewelry, with the only difference being the materials used which reduces the cost quite a lot. They have the same exquisite, dazzling look as the traditional styles. This is the case with classic western pieces as well as Indian imitation jewelry. In India, imitation materials are often used to create the traditional jewelry styles such as Kundan, Thewa, Meenakari and even Polki. Kundan is known for its exquisite settings which are pre-molded and then crafted into various beautiful designs. Once they are set, cut stones and crystals are set into them. Imitation Kundan utilizes gold coated metals or artificial gold as well as more affordable stones and crystals. In fact, gold or silver plated metals and/or artificial metals with a golden or silver tint can be used to create all types of traditional Indian imitation jewelry, from the exquisite Tarkash pendants to the ornate south Indian sets. This type of jewelry has proven to be a boon for women with a love for ethnic fashion, as it allows them to dress up in a regal, ethnic style without breaking the bank.
Indian imitation jewelry consists of all types of pieces, from the popular necklaces, earrings and bangles to the traditional mang tikkas, anklets, nose rings, ear cuffs, hathphool and kamarbandh. A western style imitation necklace set is more likely to have just a necklace (or pendant), earrings and bracelet. Imitation jewelry can also be quite versatile and there are many different types of pieces women can purchase, from simple, elegant pendants to rich and heavy chain necklaces or chandelier earrings.
An imitation necklace, earring, bracelet, bangle, ring or any other piece can be made of a lot of different materials. The metals used are typically less expensive substitutes for gold and silver, which give off the same luxurious vibe as the original metal but cost much lesser. Typically, these are set with semi-precious stones or gemstones such as amethyst, garnet, opal and topaz as well as white zircon and other shining crystal like materials. Thus they can be simply gold or silver in their look or be adorned with multiple stones in different colors. Imitation jewelry, no matter what the color and metals used, always has a very sophisticated and intricate look because it is meticulously crafted and exquisitely designed. As the name suggests, the aim is to imitate the original in every aspect except the wallet emptying price tags!
Styling Imitation Jewelry
Imitation jewelry is the best way to accessorize and dress up for fancy and formal events without burning a hole in the pocket. For many women, this has proven to a saving grace, especially during busy times such as festive periods or wedding seasons, when women have to wear a different accessories and jewelry pieces at every event. Imitation jewelry also allows women to own a more diverse range of pieces since both experimental, modern imitation necklaces and traditional varieties can be picked out without too much of a problem. The glamour factor of such jewelry is further enhanced by the fact that many Bollywood and television actresses in India have chosen to wear such pieces both on and off screen.
When styling with an imitation necklace set, it is important to aim for class and elegance. For instance, it is best to pick Indian imitation jewelry with Indian outfits like lehenga cholis, salwar kameez and sarees and a more sober, western set made with artificial pearls and crystals with western evening wear. Gold work lehengas and sarees should be matched with gold sets, while crystal work anarkalis and gowns should be matched with crystal jewelry sets.