India is the world’s largest consumer of gold and most of it going towards the creation of ornaments. Many of the contemporary styles incorporating gold are being adapted to take on more traditional themes. There has been a sudden increase in customer preference for traditional styles. Jewellers are tweaking contemporary designs to give them a vintage appeal.
Traditional designs and handmade workmanship is now in fashion. Jewellery fanatics are eager to acquire items that have been handcrafted this is because the ornaments are unique. Ganesh Narayan, Joint Managing Director at C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons explained why handcrafted jewellery was essential. “That kind of detail and aesthetic flavor is best achieved when it is done by hand rather than on a machine.”
Kundan jewellery from Rajesthan traditionally had intricate Meenakari handwork on the underside. The design Manager at Tanishq said, “The handwork is so beautiful that people now prefer to have the work on the face of the ornament for others to see and appreciate.”
Rising prosperity and greater awareness has led to a big revival in the traditional craft. Narayan explained that this was because, “In the 1970s and 1980s, this kind of jewellery was accessible only to royal families and an affluent few. Today, the growing number of millionaires and billionaires in India is leading to a revival of many designers.” Rose cut diamonds, a cut with fewer facets and similar to raw diamonds in their appearance are back in fashion. These diamonds were traditionally popular during the Victorian era.
A very old craft for jewellery making, jadau work, was brought back into fashion through the Bollywood film Jodhaa Akbar. The gold worn by the actor Aishwarya Rai stunned viewers. The Titan Company Ltd who created the jewellery for the film had spent several weeks studying jadau work, which is a style from the Mughal era.