Kundan jewellery is undoubtedly one of the most famous and sought-after accessories among ethnic Indian ornaments. Kundan designs, though originated in the 16th century among Rajasthan and Gujarat royal families, is now one of the personal favourites of many young Indian brides. The heavy designs of Kundan designer ornaments give women a royal look and simply help them attract the most attention.
What is Kundan jewellery?
The original Kundan designs have its roots in Rajaputana; known by the names Kundan Keshari, Jaipuri jewellery or Bikaneri jewellery. Kundan means “pure gold” which implies that this jewellery comprises 24k gold. It is one of the oldest Indian jewellery styles. These ornaments are usually made with precious or semi-precious stones placed in a complex structure to form neat intricate designs.
Nowadays, non-precious metals and stones are used in place of gold & precious stones to make fashion style Kundan ornaments. The technologies used in the manufacturing process; make the fashion style jewellery resemble the original Kundan ornaments.
Making Process of Kundan Designer Jewellery
“Jadau” is the manufacturing process of Kundan ornaments. Firstly, by beating pure gold and converting it into strips; the base of the jewellery forms. Non-precious metals are the substitute of gold for Kundan fashion jewellery. This process is “Ghaat”. Secondly, a wax-like substance is poured over the base. So, the stones get embed on the base. This procedure is Paadh process.
Thirdly, the precious or semi-precious gemstones are embedded. These are stuck on the prepared base. This step is “Khudai”. Then, the famous Meenakari work is done on it. Later we place more gold foils to hold the stones intact. This process is “Pakaai”. Last but not the least, follows the “Chillai” process; polishing stones to glisten them.
Why is Kundan Jewellery so expensive?
Kundan jewelry making involves using highly refined pure gold as a base; intricately designing the base with precious gemstones. Hence, they are quite expensive in the market. But when compared with ornaments made with only gold, their cost is relatively low. Embedding costly precious stones on the jewellery piece also affects the price.
Kundan Designs in Modern Times
Nowadays, affordable fashion style Kundan ornaments are easily available in the market. Imitation jewellery with Kundan designs exhibits the same exquisite look like that of original Kundan. They are less expensive too. The jewellery became more popular when the Miss World 1994 pageant and the famous Bollywood actress, Aishwarya Rai wore Kundan style jewellery while enacting the role of Jodha in the movie “Jodha Akbar”.
Tips to take care of your Kundan ornaments
Avoid exposure of your jewellery to heat, moisture and wet environments. Clean your jewellery with a soft dry cloth after each use. Don’t allow your ornaments to get tangle with each other. This will avoid damaging the detailing work on them; they are very delicate. Following these tips will help your jewellery maintain their shiny appearance for long.