Jaipur gets gem, jewellery museum

Only 50 visitors are allowed inside at any given time

Jaipur gets gem, jewellery museum

Rajasthan is known for gems and jewellwry and its capital Jaipur has a dedicated street for them--Johari Bazar in the walled city. Now, the Pink City gets Museum of Gem and Jewellery. The museum is a tribute to state’s rich heritage and showcases Jaipur jewellers’ masterly craftsmanship and exquisite collections, spanning generations.

Spread over 5,000 sq ft, the museum is housed in the first floor of a multi-storeyed Rajasthan Chamber Bhawan. The museum, with over 50 sections, explains the journey of stone from mine to jewellery. The sections include rough and cut stones, special rough stones, various cuts of stone, various colours of gemstones, gemstones in India, gemstone specimen, rocks, ancient manufacturing tools, machinery and techniques, history and development of trade in Jaipur, precious rough and cut stones, stones derived from living organisms, Navratna and Navgraha. One section is dedicated to diamonds and other oneto precious stones and beads.

Brainchild of Dr Rajnikant Shah, the museum will narrate the story of each gemstone and educate visitors about the world of gems and jewellery. A few enthusiastic NRI jewellers from New York and jewellers from Jaipur shared the feelings of Shah’s strong desire to leave behind the footprints of forefathers who contributed for the growth of the trade in Jaipur.

Doctor-turned jeweller Shah recalled that in June, 2015, his friends formed a non-profit organization--Museum of Gem and Jewellery Federation, Jaipur. “A memorandum of understanding was signed during the Resurgent Rajasthan with the Government of Rajasthan which fructified. The federation would urge the government to provide land on reserved rates for a full-fledged museum,” Shah said. “Relentless efforts and deep commitment of the group members over the last two years have finally paid off and the museum has now taken shape in the heart of the Pink City. It is heartening to note that during this period many gemstones and jewellery business houses and organisations also joined in and extended their all-out cooperation for the development of the museum,” Shah added.

The museum will give an opportunity to showcase the heritage of the fascinating story of the stone, Rajasthan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chairman and one of the founder members of the museum Rajiv Jain said. It will also help in promoting trade and tourism, he added.

A large portion has been devoted to Kundan Meena Art Jewellery which is ‘mother’ of Jaipur’s gem and jewellery business. This section showcases various types and kinds of jewellery in India. The museum inter alia has Gemology maps, Nature’s Art Gallery, Colours of Nature, Mining and Jewellery manufacturing process details.

The 6-minute video in the mini-theatre introduces visitors to the museum’s setup and exhibits. It showcases the history of Johari Bazar and jewellery business and contains rare pictures of the first auction of the Emerald gemstone held in 1948. In it one can see the Miss Universe crown which was designed by the craftsmen from Jaipur on three occasions.

The museum has been curated as a one-stop centre for a researcher, tourist or a student who is keen to know about the process of formation of gems from hard rock. “Lot of ground work was needed to establish a gem museum. We curated it from the point of view of a layman. The museum talks about the history of jewellery, procurement of stones and difference between raw and refined ones. To add variety we have kept a wall dedicated to the posters, post cards and stamps from all over the world which have gems or jewellery embossed over it. A separate jewellery sale section provides the visitors a glimpse of latest trends in gem and jewellery from all over India and they can purchase jewellery of their choice,” Vrinda Kothari, who curated the museum, told DH.

Weaving around the concept of “The story of a stone” gemstone section of the museum is a sight to behold. It reflects the journey of a stone from the mines to  finished product. “One can witness close to 200 varieties of cut gemstones. It has many colourful stones along with the details of their benefits. In addition to these, a wall of mineral specimens also makes its presence felt. An imported natural shell will be one of the many star attractions of this museum. The unique aspect of this shell is that it is has retained its original shape and it hasn’t been tinkered with,” Vrinda added. Interestingly a separate glass section containing the tools used by craftsman are also displayed.

Another fascinating section in the museum Navgrahs – the nine planets. The Navratna wall has nine idols representing the different grahs. Visitors will be informed about the best-suited gems for them as per their rashi (Zodiac sign). The impacts of these gems are also explained.

The museum also displays the French enamel jewellery along with Victorian, Tanjore, and Fusion jewellery. Some other highlights include the creative jewellery like Red Indian, African, Tibetan, and Recycled jewellery. The section of precious stones includes Ruby, Saphire, Emerald, Pearl, Diamond, Coral and Opel. The gold, diamond and silver section has signature jewellery along with an award-winning collection.

The museum is open to the visitors from Monday to Saturday between 10 am to 6 pm and the entry ticket will be Rs 50 per person. “Museum being a highly secure place, only 50 visitors will be allowed inside at any given time and each visitor needs to have a valid identity card and he will be under the CCTV surveillance,” Rajiv Jain said.

Founder members claim that this is the first museum to have been entirely dedicated to gems and jewellery. However, some of the finest gem museums are Victoria and Albert Museum in England, Tower of London in England, H Stern Workshop Tour, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Diamond Museum Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Those who know Jaipur as one of the most vibrant and successful gem and jewellery clusters in the country can now witness the art of fine gem cutting, polishing and jewellery craftsmanship under one roof.

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