|Summary: Indian jewelry has a long and rich history, a glimpse of which you can find in this article. It also talks about the different types of jewelry that can be found in India, whether it is Indian costume jewelry, gold or any other variety.
The history of Indian jewelry dates back to around 5000 years, when the desire to beatify themselves evoked in people for the first time. Ancient Indian ornaments were usually made of totally natural materials such as leaves, seeds, feathers, claws, flowers and animals, a far cry from today's bridal jewelry. In fact, even today, several tribal people wear such types of ornaments. The people of the Indus Valley Civilization can be credited with being one of the first to initiate jewelry making in the form of gold necklaces and earrings, metallic bangles, and bead necklaces.
The Mughal age can be said to be the most important period of time as far as Indian jewelry is concerned. It had great status with the royalty of the country; barring royalty and a couple of others, no one was permitted to wear gold ornaments on their feet. Again, the first nation to mine diamonds was India so that some mines date back to as old as 296 BC.
During Akbar's reign, Indian ornaments were crafted with an amalgamation of Hindu and Iranian influences. Softer designs were introduced by Jahangir when he took over the throne. Later, the designs of the Dutch jewelry influenced Shah Jahan. The Rajputs were also known for their contribution towards the creation of jewelry and Rajasthan was the chosen place for gold ornaments.
Indian ornaments, whether it is Indian costume jewelry or bridal jewelry, are of many types. There are earrings, nose rings, anklets, rings, crowns, bracelets, necklaces and amulets, in diverse styles and metals. Every Indian region has a distinct jewelry making style. Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are known for their fine filigree work in silver, Delhi for precious and semi-precious stones in gold, Jaipur for the delicate art of meenakari or enameling and Surat for diamond jewelry etc.
Following are just a few different types of jewelry available in India:
Antique: The jewelry which is no longer produced on a mainstream basis is known as antique. They have a rough and dull appearance, and have an old-world charm.
Bridal: Bridal jewelry is made of superior metals and is of unmatchable quality. In spite of the growing popularity of platinum and silver ornaments, gold still reigns supreme when it comes to Indian weddings.
Bead: Bead art is 5000 years old in India and can be traced back to the age of Indus Valley Civilization.
Custom: It is nothing but personalized jewelry, which you can get made according to your fancy and interest. This is opted for particularly when readymade pieces do not match the preference of the person concerned.
Fashion: It is also referred to as Indian costume jewelry as instead of precious stones and metals, cheaper and lighter materials are used to make them. These types of ornaments are conscious of trends and continue to change as per changing trends.
Jadau: They boast of high-skilled craftsmanship brought by Mughals into India. They are also called engraved ornaments.
Handmade: Independent craftsmen make these types of ornaments which have been in use for a long time.
Indian ornaments, whether it is Indian costume jewelry or any other type, come in diverse styles. Apart from the above-mentioned ones, some of the other categories include filigree, gold, ivory, kundan, lac, meenakari, navratna, silver, stone, pachchikam, tribal, temple etc. Thus, you have a variety of choices in front of you.