Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jewellery of Rajasthan

Jewellery has always been an essential part of personal adornment in Rajasthan. Be it the various tribal women adorning chunky silver jewellery, or exclusive jewellery studded with precious stones worn by The Kings & Queens of the Rajputana; Jewelry has been an integral part of Rajasthan.Rajathani jewelry and gemstones have made a mark on the world map and no Royal Indian Wedding can ever be complete without jewelry. It is this reason that I decided to write about Rajasthani Jewelry.

Rajasthan excels manufacturing a wide range of ornaments using Emerald, Diamond, Pearls, polki, Garnet, etc made in Jaipur and Jodhpur. Jaipur is a famous export centre for precious and semi-precious gemstones and hence if you are planning to visit Rajasthan then shopping for exquisite jewellery is something you must not miss out on. Some of the popular forms of Rajasthani Jewelry include Kundan Work, Thewa art, Meenakari and Vermeil more recetly.

Kundankari - is the art of setting gems and stones (Diamonds, Ruby, Emerald etc) in gold and silver. This form was taught by the Mughals. One of the oldest forms of jewelry made and worn in India is the 24 carat pure gold Kundan jewelry. Mostly kundan work is combined with enameling meenakari. The real Polki - (Uncut Diamond) kundan jewelry that comes out has two equally beautifully surfaces meenakari at the back surface and kundankari in the front surface. Making it extremely beautiful and exorbitant on pockets. Polki Kundan jewelry with precious stones range from anywhere between INR 15,000- INR 10,000,000!

Meenakari - is a different kind of art of jewelry making and was introduced to Jaipur by the Mughals. It was brought to Jaipur by Raja Man Singh. it is the art of enameling gold and silver jewelry.

Kundankari and Meenakari are popular forms so I wouldn’t be telling you any more about these forms. Today, I am bringing to limelight a much lesser known yet exotic form of jewelery: Vermeil & Thewa Jewelery

Vermeil: Pronounced "vair-may", is sterling silver, which has been plated or rolled with gold. A thin layer of gold, usually 18kt or 22kt, is overlaid onto the silver surface. The Rajasthani vermeil jewelry has 92.4% pure silver and 2 microns or more of 18Kt /22Kt gold overlaid in different textures and finishes and is extremely popular form of jewelry in these times when saving our resources are primary.

The vermeil jewelry prince range starts at $40 i.e. INR 2000 and goes up to $200 i.e. INR 10000 approx. Vermeil is available in a variety of designs and a lot of precious and semi precious stones/ gems are used to ornate and enhance the pieces. Stones like ruby, emerald, pearl, coral, onyx, carnelian, fluoride, tanzanite and sapphires are used in almost all vermeil pieces. Vermeil jewellery has been used by brides to create a complete set of accessories to match trousseau for the D-day! Too many options can be done in vermeil. One can create sets containing- Earrings, bracelets, necklace, hair pins, brooches, hand bag buttons, shoe / slipper enhancements, anklets, armlets, tiaras, rings etc.

Theva Art (Thewa Art) is a very rare and a secret art of fine jewelry making which is passed to generations downwards with in the family, as such it has become a family tradition for the people called as "Rajsoni". These Rajsonis are the master artisans and they treat this art as their sacred profession and not merely as a source of livelihood.

Bold and fashionable, the Thewa Art Jewelery makes a dramatic fashion statement. Not long ago, thewa was a dying Rajasthani art form. However, this 350 years old technique is now wooing customers from all over the world.

In Thewa making, with precision and techniques the pieces of coloured glass are encased in gold plated silver. Then delicate designs are worked out on the glass pieces by carving intricate designs/ motifs on gold leaf. The motifs often depict details from Hindu mythology or Mughal courtly scenes and include floral patterns, historical scenes, the Krishna Leela, peacocks , elephants, deer, lions and other animals, winged fairies, scenes from battlefields, portraits of rulers, and the like.

Products made by the artisans include jewelry and ornament pieces, boxes, plates, photo frames, belts, perfume bottles and vases. Thewa art can be used to create a great wedding give away for all attendees. Unlike other gold jewelry the price of a thewa piece lies not in the intrinsic value of gold but the skill required to fashion an article. Unfortunately customers paying Rs 500 for a pair of earrings often question the price as well as the quantity of the gold used. However one needs to understand the price charged are for workmanship and not only metals and gems.

Some of the finest examples of the thewa art can be seen in museums in India and abroad. Presently, in India, the craft is witnessing a revival with thewa jewelry pieces being made available in urban markets, which are extremely stylish and beautifully designed . With only a small handful of hereditary artisans practicing Thewa art, this beautiful craft form needs this very welcome limelight.

Thewa art imbibes from the bygone era's heritage but its impulse lies in fulfilling the demands of today's woman, who believes in making dramatic statements in every way she dresses. B it jewellery or clothes she is always on the lookout for something different and Thewa meets that need very well.

This traditional jewellery has
an old world charm and is affordable at the same time. The red, green or blue glass below highlights the intricate gold work in the best possible manner. Made of multi coloured beads, precious and semi precious gems, stones and metals in diverse colours and designs, this unique jewellery heightens your distinct style. The hand made thewa jewellery ranging from INR 3000 to INR 200,000 has today fashioned into a `must have` jewellery and its uniqueness makes you really stand out.

I am a big fan of thewa and myself have a large collection, in fact on my profile picture on this blog I am wearing a thewa neck piece and earrings. Bold and fashionable, range of sparkling Thewa Art Jewelery is a must have for every bride to be to achieve that look worth killing for.

For buying Thewa Jewelery from internationally certified jewelers, mail us on

For any other wedding shopping assistance from Rajasthan feel free to visit us at

You can also visit: and for beautiful Rajasthani Jewellery designs and custom orders to create and buy jewellery of your choice.


Yogendra Art Vibration said...
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gold plated jewellery said...

Great article on the Rajasthani flavor to the widespread jewelry market. Loved reading it. Thanks a lot.