From Punjab to Plano, Delhi to Dallas, Calcutta to Carrollton, let's talk about the fabulous jewelry of India. Here are some of the basics.
A lot of what is referred to as “native cut” is best shown in the image below. The facets are often very irregular on the pavilion. The crown can be somewhat more orderly, but can be as irregular as the pavilion. The culet can be considerably off center in native-cut gem. These gems were cut intentionally with the culet skewed to one side, usually to retain as much weight from the rough as possible or in the case of colored gems, to display the gemstone's best color. Re-cutting these to improve cut quality will usually sacrifice the color and substantially reduce the carat weight, decreasing its value significantly.
Polki diamonds are, in fact, one of the oldest forms of cut diamonds, originating in India long before Western cutting methods were seen there. They often retain their original rough form and have an unfaceted, polished surface. Although they have remained in use in traditional Indian jewelry designs − mainly fashioned for wedding pieces − Western jewelry designers have begun to incorporate these classic gems into their pieces.
The appeal is that they generally are cut to follow the crystal structure of the original rough stone, therefore no two polki diamonds are alike and they impart a distinctiveness that makes each piece unique. Another reason for their appeal is that they are very flattering to the wearer... the light they give off is much softer compared to the sparkle of modern cuts.
Kundan is a traditional form of Indian gemstone jewelry involving a gem set with a gold foil between the stones and its mount (gold foilback), usually for elaborate necklaces. The method is believed to have originated in the royal courts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is one of the older forms of jewelry made and worn in India.
CLEANING YOUR KUNDAN JEWELRY
- NO ULTRASONIC! Solution can become trapped between the stone and the gold foilback and corrode the foilback.
- NO STEAM! High intensity of superheated water could damage the foilback.
- DO use warm, damp cloth to go over or gently wipe your Kundan jewelry; you can also use a bit of window cleaner such as Windex to wipe down your jewelry.