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Kundan Bridal Jewelry
History of Kundan Jewelry
During the Mogul and Dynasty era a unique and exquisite type of gold jewelry was created in Northern India using 24 carat gold and gemstones.
It became known as Kundan Jewelry (Kundan meaning ‘pure gold’).
Making the jewelry required more than one craftsman and the process was not an easy one.
The frame for each piece of jewelry is made with hollow parts to hold the gemstones.
Glue like substance called lac is poured into each hole.
Kundan gold is then poured on top of the lac and the cut and polished gemstones are inserted into the gold filled gaps.
Once the gold hardens and the gems are firmly fixed additional Kundan is applied to give the jewelry a smooth finished look.
Wedding Wear Kundan Jewelry
Traditionally Kundan jewelry was worn only by the wealthy for it was made using the purest of gold and the finest of jewels such as diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies which only the rich could afford.
Today it has become a popular type of jewelry worn by brides in India.
Pieces in Kundan Jewelry
The main pieces that make up the Kundan Bridal Jewelry set are the:
- Kundan Necklace
- Kundan earrings
- Kundan Martha tikka
- Kundan Ring bracelet which is worn on each hand.
How to Care for Kundan Jewelry
Never wash Kundan jewelry with soap and water as this can tarnish the metal. Use a suede cloth and gently wipe each piece.
If Kundan jewelry is not cared for properly some parts of the jewelry may darken. If this happens use a pencil eraser on the area to get rid of the discoloration.
How to Store Kundan Jewelry
Lay each piece of Kundan jewelry between thick layers of soft cloth or cotton wool and store in a zip loc bag.
Some people keep a tiny bag filled with desiccant with the jewelry to prevent any buildup of humidity which may tarnish the pieces of jewelry.
Do You Prefer To Wear Gold Kundan Jewelry or Silver Kundan Jewelry
Tips For Buying Kundan Jewelry
When buying Kundan jewelry make sure you buy from a reputed jeweler.
Some jewelry stores may use artificial gemstones, flawed diamonds and less content of gold in the Kundan pieces they sell. To avoid being duped by such jewelry sellers make sure you have a basic knowledge of diamonds, gold and gemstones.
Only purchase Kundan jewelry if it’s been certified to be made of authentic gold, diamonds, gemstones, etc.
Another popular way of checking whether the jewelry is not real is to hold a magnet against it. If the jewelry sticks to magnet then it’s not authentic.
Gold that turns green or black after it’s been worn awhile is not authentic but fake.
Tips To Identify Authentic Gold Used For Kundan Jewelry
Pure gold will have a stamp on the piece of jewelry as proof of it authenticity such as
Kundan jewelry which has edges that give off a discolored appearance is an indication the gold used in making the piece of jewelry is gold plated.
24K gold jewelry has 99.9 percent pure gold because the piece of gold is not tainted with other metals normally used in jewelry. 24K gold means 24 parts of the gold is made of pure authentic gold.
22K on the other hand is made of 22 parts and the balance two contains traces of other metals.
If you purchase Kundan jewelry made from 24K gold take good care of it. 24K gold is made of soft gold and can scratch easily. Its also important to get the gold polished by a professional jeweler regularly to maintain its shine and repair any scratches or markings.
Tips For Buying Silver Kundan Jewelry
Just like with Kundan gold jewelry, it’s also important to have some basic knowledge of silver Kundan jewelry before buying it.
Pure silver is too soft to be used for making jewelry and because of this it’s usually mixed with other alloys such as copper and is called sterling silver. Sterling silver will be made of 92.5% silver.
Silver like gold will have a hallmark (stamp) to give proof it’s made of good quality silver. The hallmark 925 or .925 is a good indication the piece of jewelry is made from pure silver (92.5%).
© 2012 Suranee Perera