Make a regal statement with uncuts

Make a regal statement with uncuts

FASHION FILE

Make a regal statement with uncuts

India’s uncut diamonds and Jadau designs are a rage among celebrities in the West. Vimla Patil attempts to understand the reasons behind its high rate of appeal

For the past year or more, Indian uncut diamonds or Jadau jewellery has been making front-page news on celebrities across the globe. Among the several events that have showcased this unique regal jewellery are the Met Ball (Metropolitan Museum of New York’s annual event) where Isabel Lucas — the Australian-American actress who starred in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Immortals andDaybreakers —  wore a magnificent set of Jadau jewellery with barely any make-up. With her bold experiment, Isabel Lucas created a publicity blitzkrieg! Jade Jagger, daughter of the legendary Mick Jagger, then designed a Jadau set for supermodel Kate Moss. This year, supermodel Heidi Klum displayed her love for the same by shopping for payals in Varanasi. More recently, Katy Perry, nominated for eight Grammy Awards and named the Artist of the Year for 2011 by MTV, crooned at the IPL opening, wearing a Jadau Mang Tika.

“Jadau jewellery is in because it offers an instant royal look which celebrities love,” says Maheep Kapoor, a leading Indian designer, “Jadau or uncut diamond jewellery was worn by India’s Mughal and Rajput kings to create splendour. It gives a look of grandeur and makes for great heirloom pieces. Uncut diamond jewellery is classy and expensive. Its eternal feel adds great value to it.”

She advises that its appeal is perfect when worn with light-coloured clothes – Western or Indian. “This trend of wearing opulent Jadau jewellery has been evergreen in India,” says Jyoti Patel, another top designer, “Every society, celebrity or Bollywood bride has worn Jadau jewellery at her wedding, including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Shilpa Shetty. In fact, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan wore almost 400 items of magnificent Jadau jewellery designed by Tanishq for the film Jodha Akbar.”

Origin and lineage

“Records from the Mughal period contain references that prove the importance the Mughals gave to uncut diamonds,” says Manjari Singh, a designer, “The Rajas and Nawabs of India also followed this tradition and had Indian as well as international jewellers like Cartier make exquisite pieces for them. Over a period of time, Rajasthan became the centre of jewellery design and the cities of Jaipur and Bikaner became known for gems and gem-studded jewellery,” she adds.

Records say that the famous ‘Patiala Necklace’ comprised the largest single commission ever executed by Parisian jewellers, Cartier. The necklace, made in 1928, had 2, 930 diamonds encrusted in it. Even today, this necklace is considered one of the world’s most expensive pieces of jewellery.

 “Indian jewellery has always had a fabulous aura. Its old-world charm remains eternal and every woman dreams of owning at least one piece of jewellery to feel like a maharani herself. British, French, Russian and Iranian royals have always worn Indian jewellery throughout the colonial era. It is just that today’s celebrities are once again revisiting the exotic grandeur of Indian jewellery and its unbeatable design concepts,” says Janette Reese, a New York-based designer.

“Jewellery earns huge foreign exchange for India,” says Priti Patel, a designer who specialises in precious stones, “India’s diamond industry is huge and gives employment to 1.3 million people. India is the world’s biggest diamond processor — around 90 per cent of the global market. And the country remains the star attraction at all international jewellery fairs.

Bikaner, Rajasthan is home to almost 4,000 craftmen who work hard to create new design concepts for the world to admire and buy. Today, the turnover of this business is almost Rs 10 crore a day. The uncut diamond industry of India is worth Rs 1,500 crores a year and is increasing at 25 per cent a year.

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