Kundan jewellery (a traditional Indian jewellery also known as Bikaneri or Jaipuri jewellery) is made up of a gemstones, with gold foils between the gemstones, creating elegant necklaces. It has many colours and designs on the reverse, meanwhile the Kundan itself lies in front. Kundan stands for ‘highly refined gold’ because it is made of a refined for of pure gold. And is known as Bikaneri or Jaipuri jewellery because it is known to have originated in the royal courts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. And the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan was the traditional center for the jewellery.
It is the oldest form of jewellery worn in Indian so it therefore is very popular and has many different variations. The Kundan jewellery was successfully replicated by Rajasthan, Bihar, and the Punjab into silver which allowed it to eventually become a common jewel with the common man.
It is still used till date and signifies a very rich culture with a blissful history. It is mostly used for weddings and cultural exhibits.
It is not only used as a symbol, but still has quite a level of financial value: in the year 2006, the Kundan jewellery together with American diamond contributed largely in volume and value to the Indian jewellery market. Is recorded to have summed up to be about 73% in volume. The process of making the Kundan are divided into six steps. Namely:
The skeletal frame is created called the Ghaat.
The paadh process: wax is poured into the framework and sculpted according to its pattern.
The khudai process: gems are the carefully fit into the framework.
The Meenakari process: involves the act of adding detail to the design by enameling.
Gold foils are also created to clamp the gems into framework by being soldered together. And this process is called the pakai process.
The final step that produces the end result is the chillai process: by which the gems are polished.
Making the Kundankari is so difficult and complicated that it can only be done by a group of craftsmen. Each man is specialized in fulfilling one task alone which is to finish only the step that he is trained to carry out.
The chiterias create the basic design, the jadiyas set the stones, the ghaarias carry out the engravements, and the enameller does the enameling and or the meenakari while the goldsmith does anything that has to do with the gold or the Kundan itself.
Although people tend to fall in love with the Kundan jewellery because of the beautiful gemstones on them, they have their reputation because of their rarely solid and pure gold. It is now a typical jewelry used for marriage in Delhi, India and is obviously one of the finest in world.