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Indian Jewelry Design

July 4th, 2012 4:00 am

Jewelry is a topic that interests every woman of every age group. A woman may enjoy donning the most exquisite attire and perfect makeup but it seems incomplete without jewelry that blends with it. Indian jewelry designs give the perfect finish to every woman, making her look irresistible. There are different forms of jewelry design, each representative of a particular region. Let us discuss a few of the designs.

Fine filigree work is a popular where the design comprises entwined silver or gold threads. This is possible by delicate plaiting of the metal threads, then soldered to the underlying metal groundwork. Filigree designs are complex and require a lot of time and patience in execution. These are typical of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

Minakari design that is enamel work on gold is another popular jewelry design from Jaipur. It uses an interesting combination of pigments and precious stones arranged to glow when light falls on it. Each set has a distinct design and is quite expensive.

Delhi is world famous for Kundan design that has precious and semi-precious stones set in gold. This style draws inspiration form the Mughal School of art and comprises exquisite neckpieces and chokers.

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh are renowned for a wide range of ethnic silver jewelry.

Gold jewelry from Assam has interesting designs depicting the orchids and local birds, the loka paro. Jewelry from Nagaland has distinct tribal influences in the form of human heads and beads in different combinations with gold.

Antique or oxidized jewelry has a huge market and is fashionable among the younger generation. It comprises silver ornaments in contemporary designs that are chic and affordable and one can buy them in varied styles. You can choose from a range of fusion jewelry available in interesting combinations like beads like rudraksh, glass, gold threads, and paper and flower jewelry.

Temple jewelry worn in dances like Bharat Natyam is another popular jewelry design worn by women in marriages and festivals, originating in Nagercoil. These traditional gold ornaments embedded with red and green semi-precious stones were originally gifts to the temple deities and hence known as temple jewelry. Traditional craftsmen fashion these sets comprising earrings, necklace, headpiece, and jewelry for the waist, ankles, fingers, nose, and hands.

The Standard for Originality and Luxury is Silver Italian Jewelry

May 24th, 2012 11:43 am

A good example of this tradition is Fortunato Pio Castellani, who opened his Italian jewelry workshop in Rome around 1814, first creating fashion jewelry from the popular designs. By the 1830s, he had become inspired by the Etruscan discoveries of ancient Italian jewelry. Castellani became the first 19th-century jeweler to create works closely modeled after classical Italian and Greek prototypes, thus creating a new fashion trend.

Castellani was inspired to pursue the ‘granulation’ technique, which was perfected by the Etruscans in the 9th to 4th centuries B.C. and made Italian jewelry of this period so unique. Castellani’s passion for excellence became close to an obsession and resulted in the revival of many ancient techniques which have become some of the greatest contributions to the history of Italian jewelry making.

Fortunato Pio was joined by his two sons, Alessandro and Augusto in the 1850’s, creating and marketing their Italian jewelry designs to local, international patrons, artists and educated tourists visiting Rome. By the 1860s, popular demand for their unique styles, prompted Alessandro Castellani to establish a workshop in Naples in addition to opening shops in London and Paris. The Italian jewelry of this family won widespread acclaim leading to international expositions in Florence, London, and Paris, ultimately becoming the design that every jeweler throughout Europe wanted to duplicate. The fame of Castellani’s designs reached America in 1876, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and the next year the much-praised Italian jewelry collection was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The granulation technique used in creating Italian jewelry by the Castellani family and others are just one of many that every aspiring jeweler must learn. The incorporation of fine detailing and meticulous finishing are the foundation for the luxurious effect that is difficult to find in any other jewelry.

Beside the impact of history and tradition, the reputation of Italian jewelry is supported by its quality standards for silver and gold, which are amongst the highest in the world. The silver grade of “925” is not the only consideration taken into account. There is also an extreme amount of care given in the production of the alloy and through each step until the finished jewelry piece is completed. Whether the item is crafted by an individual jeweler or from a large jewelry company, silver Italian jewelry production is treated with passion and respect.

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