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The world of vintage jewelry is a captivating domain that takes you on a voyage through time, revealing the impeccable craftsmanship and artistic prowess of bygone eras. It’s like stepping into a treasure trove, where each piece tells its own story, echoing tales of romance, power, and artistry from the past.

Vintage jewelry spans several periods, each with its distinct design elements that reflect the trends and historical events of those times. This includes Georgian and Victorian Era pieces, Art Nouveau styles from the early 20th century, as well as Art Deco designs from the 1920s and 1930s.

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Characterized by ornate designs inspired by nature and often encrusted with gemstones or pearls, Georgian era jewelry was meticulously handcrafted. These pieces are incredibly rare due to their age:

  • Rings: Often designed with a closed back setting which enhanced the color intensity of gemstones.
  • Brooches: Intricate motifs such as flowers or bows were commonly used.

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Named after Queen Victoria of England, this era saw jewelry designs evolve through three different periods – Early (Romantic), Middle (Grand), and Late (Aesthetic) Victorian:

  • Early Victorian: Pieces were delicate and inspired by nature. Lockets and brooches were popular.
  • Middle Victorian: This period saw heavy mourning jewelry made from jet or black onyx.
  • Late Victorian: Diamond became more accessible leading to an increase in diamond-set jewelry.

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Jewelry in this era was heavily influenced by natural elements featuring flowing lines and curves:

  • Pendants: Intricately designed featuring motifs like peacock feathers or butterflies.
  • Brooches: These often featured the female form or faces.

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Art Deco jewelry was characterized by bold geometric designs, reflecting the optimism and exuberance of the Roaring Twenties:

  • Bracelets: These often featured strong lines and symmetrical patterns.
  • Rings: Large center stones, geometric shapes and bright color contrasts were prevalent.

The beauty of vintage jewelry resides not only in the aesthetic value but also in the historical narrative that each piece carries. These artifacts of bygone eras serve as a bridge to our past, offering a deeper understanding of the cultural shifts that have shaped our present. And as we appreciate their timeless beauty, we are reminded that though trends may come and go, true artistry endures through time.


India, with its rich and diverse cultural heritage, has been a significant contributor to the world of jewelry. Spanning thousands of years, the history of Indian jewelry is a fascinating study in art, culture, and tradition. Particularly noteworthy is the antique jewelry of India that stands as a testament to the craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibility of the artisans from yesteryears.

As we delve into understanding various types and styles of antique Indian jewelry, it’s important to understand that these pieces were not just ornamental but deeply rooted in symbolism and religious significance. Each region in India has its unique style, technique, motifs used which makes this exploration all the more intriguing.

  1. Temple Jewelry

Originating in South India during the Chola dynasty (9th century), temple jewelry is intricately designed with divine figures and motifs inspired by Hindu temples. This traditional form of jewelry primarily includes necklaces, earrings, anklets made mainly from gold and enhanced with precious gems like rubies, emeralds, diamonds.

  1. Kundan Jewelry

Kundan jewelry is one of the oldest forms of jewelry-making in India tracing its origins to Rajasthan’s royal courts. The process involves setting precious stones into gold using highly refined gold known as ‘Kundan’. The opulence of Kundan designs remains unmatched till date making it a popular choice for weddings and festive occasions.

  1. Jadau Jewelry

Jadau work entails embedding semi-precious stones like polki diamonds or pearls into gold or silver creating exquisite designs. This craft flourished during Mughal rule and continues to be a favored style for its royal charm.

4.Thewa Jewelry

Thewa is an exceptional form of art where intricate designs are created on glass using pure gold threads or pieces. Hailing from Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district, Thewa pieces are a colorful spectacle combining artistry and jewelry-making skill.

  1. Meenakari Jewelry

Meenakari work involves enamelling gold with vibrant colors like blue, green, yellow. Originating in the courts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, Meenakari designs are often paired with Kundan or Jadau techniques to enhance their appeal.

  1. Pachchikam Jewelry

Pachchikam is a revivalist form of jewelry originating from Gujarat and Kutch. It involves setting semi-precious stones into silver which gives it a raw yet alluring charm.

7.Nava Ratna (Nine Gems) Jewelry

Nava Ratna is a special category of antique jewelry where nine different precious stones representing the celestial deities according to Hindu astrology are used in a single piece. Each stone signifies a planet and is believed to bring positive astrological effects.

The broad spectrum of antique Indian jewelry styles not only offers an aesthetic appeal but also provides an insight into India’s cultural diversity and history. Each piece tells a story – of royal courts, religious symbols, regional influences making it more than just an adornment but a piece of heritage worth treasuring.


Antique temple jewelry, originated in India, is a distinctive form of ornamentation that traces back to the 9th century during the reign of the Chola dynasty. Renowned for its intricate design elements that reflect the richness of Indian temple architecture and sculptures, this jewelry style has transcended through ages and continues to charm today’s fashion-forward crowd with its timeless elegance.

Temple jewelry was initially designed to adorn the deities in temples, hence the name ‘Temple Jewelry’. The minute detailing that goes into crafting each piece resonates with the elaborate carvings found in Indian temples. Precious gemstones like rubies, emeralds, diamonds, pearls are often used along with gold to make these stunning pieces. However, while appreciating their aesthetic appeal, it’s also worth delving deep into their intricacies.

Design Elements

The typical design elements of temple jewelry include motifs inspired from nature or Hindu mythology. Here are a few signature motifs:

  • Lakshmi Motif: Goddess Lakshmi being a symbol of wealth and prosperity is a recurring theme.
  • Peacock Motif: The national bird peacock is another common motif representing beauty.
  • Floral Motif: Lotus or other floral designs are also quite common in this form of jewelry.

Techniques Used

The craftsmanship involved in creating antique temple jewelry is both complex and time-consuming.

  • Repoussé Technique: This involves hammering metal sheets (usually gold) from one side to create designs on the other side.
  • Kundan Setting: In this method, gemstones are set using gold foils rather than prongs or bezels.

Types of Temple Jewelry

Antique temple jewelry comes in various forms. Here are some types:

  1. Necklace: Ranging from short chokers to long ‘harams’, these necklaces bear intricate detailing of temple motifs.
  2. Earrings: ‘Jhumkas’ or bell-shaped earrings are quite popular in temple jewelry and may include miniature deity or floral motifs.
  3. Waist belts: Known as ‘vaddanams’, these ornate waist belts are a significant part of bridal jewelry in South India.
  4. Hair ornaments: These include ‘netti chutti’ (headpiece), ‘rakodi’ (hair brooch), and ‘jada billa’ (hair braid ornament).

Significance and Current Trend

Despite being centuries old, the allure of antique temple jewelry hasn’t faded. It’s not just part of religious ceremonies or classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam but has also made its way into bridal trousseaus and everyday fashion. Designers today are incorporating the traditional elements of this art form into contemporary pieces, making them more wearable for a global audience while preserving their cultural significance.

In essence, the aesthetics and intricacies of antique temple jewelry lie in a deep-rooted cultural narrative that unfolds with each piece. The meticulous craftsmanship reflects not just the skilled artisans’ acumen but also India’s rich heritage, making it a desirable collectible for anyone with an appreciation for history and artistry.


The Victorian era, named after Queen Victoria’s reign in England from 1837 to 1901, has left an indelible mark on the world of jewelry. The period is renowned for its unique jewelry designs, with a particular emphasis on diamond pieces that still captivate collectors and enthusiasts today. Let’s revisit the grandeur of this bygone era and explore the iconic charm of Victorian diamond jewelry.

Characteristics of Victorian Diamond Jewelry

Victorian diamond jewelry is known for its aesthetic beauty and impeccable craftsmanship. Here are some notable features:

  • Design Inspiration: The designs were predominantly inspired by nature, with motifs like flowers, insects, and birds frequently used.
  • Diamond Cuts: Old mine cut and rose cut diamonds were commonly used during this period. These cuts offer a soft brilliance compared to modern diamond cuts.
  • Metals: Yellow gold was the predominant metal used during this era. Silver was often used as a setting for diamonds.
  • Symbolism: Symbolism played a crucial role in Victorian jewelry designs. For example, serpents symbolized eternal love, while ivy represented fidelity.

Noteworthy Pieces

Among the vast array of Victorian diamond jewelry pieces, several types stand out:

  • Brooches: Brooches studded with diamonds were quite popular during this time and were usually worn at the neckline.
  • Bracelets: Lockets and charms decorated bracelets that often featured intricate patterns and designs.
  • Rings: Engagement rings were typically adorned with rows of diamonds set in a band of yellow gold or silver.

The Influence on Modern Jewelry

Victorian diamond jewelry continues to inspire contemporary jewelers around the globe even today. The romantic symbolism and intricate design elements have found renewed popularity in recent years:

  • Several designers now incorporate symbolic motifs from antique Victorian pieces into their modern creations.
  • Old mine cut and rose cut diamonds are making a comeback in bespoke jewelry designs to evoke a vintage feel.
  • Jewelry pieces inspired by Victorian designs often feature in period films and television series, which has resulted in a surge of interest among younger generations.

Victorian diamond jewelry is more than simple adornment. It is a piece of history, an art form that beautifully encapsulates the essence of an era long past. Whether you’re a collector, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful accessories, these jewels from the Victorian era are sure to fascinate you. Their timeless elegance and intricate craftsmanship serve as a reminder of the grandeur and sophistication that characterized the past and continue to influence modern jewelry styles.


Polki and Kundankari, two traditional jewelry making techniques from India, have long been celebrated for their sophistication and intricate detailing. These art forms are closely intertwined with the history and culture of the country, giving them a unique charm that is both timeless and captivating.

Polki Jewelry

Polki jewelry involves the use of uncut diamonds that are often set in gold. It originated during the Mughal period in India and has remained a popular choice for brides due to its opulent look.

Features of Polki Jewelry

  • Uncut Diamonds: The prime feature of Polki jewelry is the use of uncut diamonds. These diamonds, also known as Polkis, are typically set on gold foils to enhance their sheen.
  • Intricate Carvings: The settings for these diamonds usually involve intricate carvings which add to the overall appeal.
  • Traditional Designs: Most designs incorporate traditional motifs like flowers, birds, or paisleys.


Kundankari or Kundan work is another classic form of Indian jewelry craft. This art involves setting highly refined gold (known as ‘Kundan’) with precious or semi-precious stones. The result is a beautiful piece that reflects elegance and craftsmanship.

Features of Kundankari

  • Use of Gold: Pure 24-karat gold is used in this art form.
  • Gemstone Setting: The technique involves embedding gemstones into the gold.
  • Enamel work: A distinguishing feature of Kundan jewelry is the use of enamel work on the reverse side, adding another layer to its beauty.

These two techniques embody different aspects of Indian craftsmanship. While polki represents opulence through its chunky uncut diamonds set in gold foils, Kundankari showcases intricacy through its delicate gemstone settings and detailed enamel work. Together, they offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of Indian jewelry making.

Both Polki and Kundankari require a high level of skill and expertise. The process of creating these pieces is labor-intensive, often taking weeks or even months to complete. This painstaking attention to detail is what gives these art forms their enduring appeal.

Whether it’s the shimmering beauty of a Polki necklace or the intricate design of a Kundan earring, these traditional crafts continue to captivate us with their sophistication and elegance. Their timeless appeal ensures that they remain as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago, serving as a testament to India’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Despite the rise in modern jewelry trends, Polki and Kundankari have managed to retain their popularity. Their unique blend of tradition and opulence makes them an ideal choice for festive occasions, especially weddings. For many brides in India, adorning themselves with these traditional pieces is more than just a fashion choice; it’s a way to connect with their roots and celebrate their culture.

In the end, the sophistication of Polki and Kundankari lies in their ability to capture our imaginations with their intricate designs while simultaneously reminding us of our cultural heritage. They are truly gems in the realm of traditional Indian jewelry crafts.


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