Gems and precious stones were known to Indians from ancient times. Indian joharis (jewellers) was great artist in this feild. Varahmihir in “Vrihat Samhita", Vagbhatt in ‘Ras Ratna Samuchchaya", thakkar Pheru in “Ratna Pariksha”have discuss lot of things about precious stones more then thousands years back. Indians not only use these precious stones for jewellery but also for medicinal purpose. Indians also used these stones to influence the nine Grahas or planets.
Thats why theycreated Nav Rama (nine Gems): Ruby, Pearl, Coral, Emerald, Pukhraj(white and yellow Sapphire), Daimond, Sapphire blue,Gomedak (zircon or zircome) and Cat’s eye for the nine planets Nav Gmhas: Sun,Moon, Mars, Mercury jupiter, Venus,Saturn, Dragon’s Head (Rahu) and Dragon’s Tail (Ketu). Otherwise Indianfoharis knew about 84 type of stones in those days. I Kundrm technique and enamelling (mind/sari in hindi) was one of the unique creation of Indian Joharis in ancient times. Kundan was unique and peculiar gem setting method. This thadditional process can be used to inlay the surface of semiprecious stones,like nephrite or jade, or to decorate the gold jewels. The craftsman, after designing the selected pattern, traditionally an arabesque or a symbolic and propitiatory form, starts to engrave the surface of the jewel. When the hollow of the design is ready he fixes the gemstone with small amount of lac. Then some gold as pure as possible, usually 24- karats which is very malleable, is pressed around the stone perimeter with a stylus to wedge it in place and by gently overlapping the gem edge secure it. Because of the high purity of the gold, the metal can be welded without heat. The kundan technique is supported by the superb art of enamelling melted in dazzling chromatisms. Enamel finishes the ornament in every part, showing the pursuit of perfection. Enamelled harmonious figures of birds, animals, trees, Howers and leaves offer the same pleasure we get from a very refined miniatures. Most Indian enamelling is made in champlevé method. The skill and the innovating technique created true jewel’s masterpieces defining a unique style, which still inspires the best expressions of contemporary Indian jewellery Indian jewellery designs reach their peak during the time of Mughal Empire. When Indian Joharis came in contact with Europian goldsmiths and craftmen, they came to know about each other’s technology and design. Indian Joharis maintained these traditional technique and design and sometime adopted Europian design as well. This Indo-west artistic coniluence has given new horizon to world jewellery Moghul Emperors wrote about fine jewels presented by Western Soveraigns.
Many European travellers, not last the Venetians such as Manucci, Balbi, Federici, who lived at the Indian courts from l500 to 1600 wrote about European craftsmen worked as lapidaries, glints, gems cutters, goldsmiths, enamellers. Among those the Venetian Ortosio Borgis was the cuter of the very famous Grand Mughal diamond of 787.5 karats, using the “indian rose-cut" style. Even though Indians prefere to keep the integrity of the gems even if it had some defects, this rose-cut started to be used to emphasize the brightness of the stones. In Rajasthan,the majestic buildings and the charming sumptuous life of the Raya; strengthened the power and the fame of the local rulers. The jewellery produced for Rajasthan’s Maharajas and Maharanas stood out for its quality and style. Jaipur,the capital of Rajasthan built in 1727 on the will of Maharaja Sawai jai Singh became one of the most prosperous cities in India. Between all the activities that Hourished injaipur the most important certainly was the ja/zariiv art, which granted fame to the city For the exquisite workmanship and the unmistakable style of its jewellery Jaipur became one of the most important and well known jewellery art centre in the world. The gem’s cut and the enamel process activities increased.
The skill of enamellers, in Hindi minakar, reached excellence in carrying out the design with extreme accuracy inspired often from Mogul miniature depicting arabesques, divinities or royal couples framed by Howers and birds. Many buyers and goldsmith went at the beginning of 1900 to “the land of legendary treasures" to buy gems and precious crafts. They began to entertain friendly relations with the Rajas,their potential clients. In those years the British Indian Empire constituted an unfailing reserve of wonder. More than 130 princes still owned extraordinary collections of ancient jewellery. From 1920 to 1930 several Maharajas required to the famous Jewellery Houses in Europe to reset their traditional jewels into the new western style. This was not the last example of jewellery art’s fusion of the two cultures. Some enlightened Indian jeweller have started to promote the mobility of business between two highly cultured countries such as India and Italy which already have historical cultural relationships linked to commercial trades. Italian jewellery is highly appreciated round the world and Indian jewellery is just not behind.
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