Elegant, vibrant, glittering—these are some of the terms that come to mind whenever we think of diamonds. In India, the art of making diamond jewelry is almost as old as the luxurious history that the country boasts of, with her multitude of kings and queens from the Guptas to the Mughals.
Origin of Polki:
What is Polki Jewelley?
Polki, meaning un-faceted or uncut diamonds, previously referred to the style of cleaving diamonds that were backed with silver foils to reflect light. It was introduced in the Mughal royal court. Historically, they began as Mughal cuts that were rectangular with beveled edges, lozenge or uneven oval or pear shapes. The latter two had smaller angular facets, which were made by applying emery and diamond powder. With the adjustment of carving a faceted crown on top of a flat base, it became known as the Polki cut.
How Polki Is Made:
Polki jewelry is made by placing the uncut diamonds on gold plate, foils that gives the stones a glorious shimmer. After embedding the stones, the craftsmen then add other gemstones such as pearl, rubies and sometimes emerald for embellishment. The final product is a colourful melange of gemstones on a shimmering bed of gold. No wonder it is a favourite with celebrities.
The art of making jewelry from Polki diamonds is called Jadau. They are cleaved and cut in a way that it carries the original rough un-faceted and unpolished surface. Originating in the Rajasthan and Gujarat during the Mughal era, Jadau requires a team of artisans called ‘Chiterias’ and ‘Ghaarias’ to complete each piece of jewelry. It is an intricate process.
1. The first step is the conceptualization of the design that is sketched by the designer.
2. With the design as a template, the Chiterias, who are mould specialists, mould the fundamental skeletal framework as per the sketch.
3. Once the mould is prepared, the Ghaarias engrave the mould to give it an ethnic charm.
4. The 22-carat mould is preferred as the metal to be worked on because it is comparatively more malleable in this case, helping the artisan to sculpt an intricate design.
5. The next step is Meenakari, or enameling.
6. Lastly, the Jadia or setter takes care of the Kundan or highly refined molten gold (which is in 24-carat) to set in the highly delicate polkis.
How to Maintain Polki:
The exposure to external factors like dust and moisture leads to Polki diamonds losing their shine. Therefore, to maintain its luster avoid keeping the pieces in the velvet boxes that they are sold in. Instead, the pieces should be kept in airtight boxes with each article wrapped in butter paper or cotton in order to stop any moisture to seep in and destroy the precious pieces.
How Popular Is Polki:
Eye-catching and lustrous, Polki is an incredibly desirable jewelry at present, with it being endorsed by the young and fresh faces of Janhvi Kapoor, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kiara Advani, Sonam Kapoor and even the classic beauties like Sri Devi, Madhuri Dixit and Twinkle Khanna. Its appeal is dependent upon the cut and uniqueness of each piece. Featuring a sophisticated yet understated look, it appeals to the younger generation, while also becoming a regular in the Indian bridal trousseau. Diamonds are eternal, and Polki, in spite of its traditional origins, is creating new waves in the jewelry designing industry.
Besides the affordability, there is huge demand for polki jewellery for its craftsmanship. The unique designs and the overall regal look makes it a favourite jewellery for weddings and special occasions.