With the wedding season on in full swing the jewellery stores are abuzz with activity. Shops stock jewellery in different styles and exquisite designs, each having a style of their own. The extravagant and varied patterns bear testimony to the remarkable skills of goldsmiths and traditional gold artisans in India.
Importance of Gold
For Hindus, jewellery is associated with religious occasions such as the `vivaha` or the marriage ceremony. A bride`s trousseau may contain ethnic, intricate pieces designed by master craftsmen as well as pieces with straight and simple lines made using state of the art technology. For married women, the Mangal sutra or `thali` signifying unity and long life of the husband is very important. It is a gold pendant made in a variety of designs depending on where the bride originates. Depending on the financial status of the family, the bride gets some gold as `streedhan` from her parental family. Owing to its easy convertibility into cash, gold jewellery is regarded as security for the bride as she enters her new life. These days Gold is also bought on auspicious days such as `Akshaya Thritiya` Buying gold signifies prosperity in the family.
Varied styles of Gold Jewellery
The kundan style was influenced by the Mughals and these chokers and necklaces are quite irresistible. Precious stones like diamonds, rubies and emeralds are embedded in gold.
Filigree work jewellery, mostly done on silver, can be found in gold too. Fine filigree work can be found in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
Jaipur is well known for its Meenakari enamel jewellery. The patterns are usually tiny and floral, in red, blue and green.The temple jewellery of Nagarcoil consists of traditional gold ornaments studded with red and green semi-precious stones.In Assam, soft 24 carat gold is used to make earrings and necklaces modeled on the local flora and fauna. All these places were historically the starting points for their unique styles.
Tips for buying Gold
- The jewellery should be hallmarked. Hallmarked jewellery will have five markings: the BIS logo, the fineness number, the mark of the hallmarking centre, year of marking and the jeweller`s mark.
- See if the carat of the piece of jewellery is mentioned on it, apart from the hallmark of the jeweller. This is genuine proof that it is indeed real gold.
- In choosing gold jewellery, the primary aim should be to build up a collection of the first five essential pieces, which are: necklace, bracelets, long earrings, big round earrings and different pendants.
- 24 carat gold is considered best for investment.
The plethora of styles, designs and even price ranges ensures that the glitter of gold will not dim for the Indian bride any time in the near future.