What is Kundan Art Jewellery? Process, History, Value.

About Kundan Jewellery

Kundan is a form of jewellery made from gold, usually with a core material of wax. It is the traditional form of Indian gemstone jewellery popular for elaborate necklaces. The making of this jewellery includes highly refined gold, i.e., 24 carat gold while the gold used in the base of the ornaments can vary.

History of Kundan Art Jewellery

Kundan jewellery is one of the oldest forms of jewellery in India with a rich legacy of over 2,500 years. Its roots are believed to date back to the royal courts of Gujarat & Rajasthan. That is the reason why it is also referred to as Royal Indian or Mughal Jewellery. In addition to these names, Kundan is known as Bikaneri or Jaipuri Jewellery in popular culture.

The variation of this form of craftsmanship can be found in Meena jewellery, where enamelling with various colours and designs is on the back side while the Kundan setting embraces the front side. Indian city of Jaipur is considered as the centre of Kundan jewellery making in India.

The procedure of crafting Kundan Art Jewellery

  • Step 1:

The process of making Kundan jewellery starts with the making of 22 Karat gold ghat, referred to as GADHAYI (meaning unique pieces structured with golden stripes). The style and form of a typical mould-like framework are set according to the design, using thin golden strips which are further cut, coiled, and shaped. This is the most vital step to create the base of the necklace set.

  • Step 2:

The second step involves engraving the outer surface with the required designs and patterns which is called KHUDAYI.

  • Step 3:

The third step involves the framework to be filled with lac, a type of wax or gold, and then engraved in this process. This step basically includes printing the planned pattern or design on the surface of the jewellery. This is followed by Meenakari work, wherein the engraved patterns on the gold surface are then filled with various types of natural colours.

Time taken to craft one piece of Kundan Art Jewellery

The manufacturing of Kundan sets and articles involves skilled labour given their intricacy and relevance. Each piece is hand-polished, which translates into countless hours of hard work by skilled artisans. Crafting complete necklaces (bridal sets) in this form of jewellery could take anywhere between two to four months, depending upon the craftsmanship and the intricacy of the chosen design and style.

Evolution of Kundan Art Jewellery over the years

Traditionally, Kundan jewellery designs have been very detailed. Earlier, it was only worn by the Royals but over the years, its demand has increased. With Hindi-film actors wearing Kundan designs in historic films, women and men alike have started showing interest in exploring this fine jewellery range. It is valued highly by those who own this jewellery range. Not to miss that it is passed from generation to generation given its elegance, lustre and richness.

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