Kundan is essentially traditional gemstone jewellery that is placed in a gold foil between two stones. The beautiful art of Kundan jewellery is known to stem from the ancient kingdoms of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The word Kundan means highly purified gold, and a highly cleansed form of molten gold is used in the making of this jewellery. Jaipur has been the city of focus in Rajasthan where Kundan jewellery is most prominent. It is also known as Bikaneri or Jaipuri. It is also a well-known fact that Kundan jewellery flourished maximum during the Mughal era during the 16th century.
As we are already aware, gold was the first and original material used for making jewellery for the royal families of Rajasthan. But, as the time ticked by, silver Kundan jewellery gained popularity among the common folk of the country. The most crucial raw materials used for the manufacture of this rare gemstone were mostly precious metals like gold or silver that are used for making the basic design layout. Along with the necessary metal, precious stones of differentiated colours make the jewellery look even more alluring and captivating. These stones include rubies which give red, sapphires of the colour blue, emeralds which give green, and diamonds which radiate white colour respectively. Now, comes the entire matter of fixing it in place at hand. Do you wonder how these frames and stones were fixed together in the ancient times when there was no gum for sticking? Well, there was a solution called lac that could be used as glue by these people instead. It is a sticky produce of the lac insect which has the one of the largest markets in the Indian subcontinent as of now. It acted as a gummy by-product and kept the jewels in their intended places within their metal frameworks.
Learn the process of making Kundan jewellery
The process of manufacturing of Kundan jewellery involves a ton of tireless efforts. A conglomerate of skilled artisans are involved at every stage of the manufacturing process. There are a variety of different stages involved in the basic processing routine. Some of the fundamental processes are as follows –
It all starts with the production of the metal base. The precious metals are beaten into sheets on which the lac is poured and applied for fixing the positions of the gem stones. The process of pouring of the lac is better known as ‘Paadh’ in traditional terms. The next step in the making of Kundan jewellery is ‘Khudaai’ wherein precious stones are placed on the lac layer with the help of piping hot coal. To ensure that the stones remain in position, the pure gold is added from the sides onto the framework. A flimsy stick is used for the pouring process of Kundan. Stones are applied on the base of the sheet along with the complete design of the jewellery framework. The look and sizing of the framework and designs is decided upon, keeping in mind the diverse style requirements for earrings, necklaces, bangles and more. The framework is then moulded in to the metal base known as the “Pakai.”
Meenakari is not really a famous process known for the manufacture of Kundan jewellery but is usually mixed with its style so as to increase the appeal and face value of the jewellery. Meenakari means shelling and evolving the intricate design details. It normally enhances the backside of jewellery making it more appreciable while Kundan stones make the front a beautiful display as it is. We finally move on to the stage of “Chillai” which is known as the polishing stage of the carefully fixed stones.
Wearing Kundan jewellery in everyday life
Today, Kundan has become one of the most glamorous art forms out there, used and demanded by umpteen people across the globe. It defines luxury, class, chivalry and is worn mostly for formal events owing to its expensive price tag. Be it a wedding, a formal gala, or any event that requires you to be at your top game and dressed to make an impact, a display of Kundan jewellery can complement your look and make it much more captivating.
Kundan jewellery has also adopted a variety of different styles over the ages and grown from its traditional roots. As you can see above, renowned actor Sonam Kapoor is flashing an intricately designed Kundan choker necklace that has really transformed her look into a unique one at an awards function.
As you can see above, another famous personality of the likes of Anushka Sharma can be seen showing off an eccentric and enchanting Kundan jewellery set. You can see the detailed design and can mix and match it up with one of your favourite traditional looks and leave people stunned.
Judging by the facts mentioned above, it’s easy to determine that Kundan jewellery is one of the most regal and mesmerizing art forms out there today. And as time has passed by, this art form has transformed and kept up with changing trends of the time. It truly is a moving work of art that will keep and has kept its place on the very top, today, tomorrow and for many years yet to come.
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