Indian women love their jewellery and we look for any and every opportunity to flaunt those baubles. From those that come from our grandmoms to those that are carefully gifted to us by our husbands and (indulgent!) boyfriends - jewellery just means we are loved. And ever so often, we set out to buy our own jewellery and that’s when trouble begins. We hardly know much about jewellery - the make, the quality, the type and the value. Especially if it’s bridal jewellery and more so, if you want to look like royalty. So we decided to give you a low-down on the basics of jewellery - how to know the difference between kundan and polki, our favourite picks for the upcoming wedding season.
1. Both polki and kundan remind us of our great Indian heritage and craftsmanship - that’s one reason why they make for great options if you want to go completely traditional. Kundan is the oldest form of craftsmanship, even older than polki work, especially in India.
2. Both need a lot of attention during the act of creation - from design to execution - because they are time-consuming and require intricate details and craftsmanship.
Polki and Diamond Set, Dwarkadas Chandumal Jewellers
3. First, both polki and kundan are essentially stones - not metal or design. Polki uses uncut diamonds and kundan uses glass imitations.
4. Polki is made of unfinished natural diamonds - those that come in their natural shape and don’t need any polishing or finishing. They are mined from the earth in their natural state and used in jewellery.
5. Kundan on the other hand, is essentially glass - it can be precious or semi-precious depending on the stone used. It’s polished to make it look more intricate. It’s more to do with setting gemstones in gold jewellery.
Polki Bridal Necklace, Jewels by Annu Chadha
6. Polki made its way into India by the Mughals who loved their precious diamonds in their natural form.
7. Kundan, with all its craftsmanship and detailing, is a kind of art form made famous by the craftsmanship in Rajasthan.
1. Polki and Gold Bracelet; 2. Polki Earrings, both by Dwarkadas Chandumal Jewellers
8. Polki jewellery is made of gold foil at the back to bring the stones together. Kundan jewellery comes with enamel-work at the back and lots of layering between stones.
9. Kundan and polki both use precious and semi-precious stones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
10. Polki is more expensive than kundan because of the kind of craftsmanship it comes with and the fact that it uses diamonds more than any stone extensively.
Do you have any kundan or polki jewellery? Send a picture to email@example.com with the subject line 'Shopaholic Series', and we'll feature you on the site!