A quintessentially Indian technique and a speciality of Rajasthan, is the setting of stones by means of Kundan, the jewellery in which stones are set, is rarely solid gold, it has a core of lac, a natural resin. The pieces which make up the finished object are first shaped by specialised craftsmen and left in separate hollow halves.
Holes are cut for the stones, any engraving or chasing is carried out, and the pieces are enamelled. When the stones are to be set, lac is inserted in the back, and is then visible in the front through the holes.
Highly refined gold, the kundan, is then used to cover the lac and the stone is pushed in to the kundan.
More kundan is applied around the edges to strengthen the setting and give it a neat appearance. This was the only form of setting for stones in gold until claw settings were introduced under the influence of western jewellery in the nineteenth century.
During the Mughal reign, the art of kundan work reached Jaipur from Delhi. Later on, craftsmen from the different parts of the country migrated here and made Jaipur a hub of Kundankari. Rulers and feudal lords gave patronage to the art and it developed into perfection. Today, Kundankari is known the world over, with Jaipur serving as its epicenter.
Kundankari is mainly done on gold and silver jewellery. The beauty of kundan work lies in the precise setting of stones into kundan which gives an aesthetic look to the ornament.
Kundankari is such a specialized work that it is generally carried by a group of craftsmen, each carrying out a specific task. The chiterias make the basic design, the ghaarias are responsible for engraving and making holes, meenakari or enameling is done by the enameller and the goldsmith takes care of the Kundan or gold.
The jadiyas or stone setters, set stones such as jade, agate, garnet, emerald, rock crystal, topaz, amethyst, and spinel into kundan.
Where to Shop Kundan Jewellery in Jaipur
Johari Bazar, M.I. Road, C-Scheme of Jaipur showcases the exclusive creations in Kundan jewellery and these ornamentations masterpieces are must-buys for the tourists of the state.
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