Kundan jewelry is an Indian craft that put into fusion the brilliance of precious stones, metal, and enamel in the custom Rajasthani style. Emeralds, topaz, garnets, rubies, moonstones, amethyst, diamonds, bloodstones, sapphires, and corals are typical examples of stones that are frequently used in jewelry making. These stones are then shaped carefully, cut, and polished to let their shine show. These then are set in pure gold base designed with exceptionally complicated patterns. Then the so far unfinished product is given an enameled ground to protect the gold from possible wearing out caused by friction against the skin. This process also gives highlight on the extent of the stones' luster.
Only those with keen eyes would notice that a Kundan jewelry should not be compared and mistaken for the artificial Kundan, which uses glass and colored tinfoil under the stones to mimic the polish of the real work. Much of the beauty of Kundan jewelry is derived from its value and authenticity, thus to make a replica of it is would be defeating its essence.
Kundan jewelry can also be done in silver, replacing the radiance and warmth of the gold with the classic grace of white.
Kundan jewelry could have varying designs—animal, bird, floral, lunar, and solar designs. In the southern part of India, Kundan jewerly designs are more inclined to nature—dainty motif of the melon, rice grains, mango, and cucumber seeds, etc. In other parts, such as the in then west and the north, the Mughals stands to be the biggest influence on these jewelry designs. The Kundan jewelry pieces can be formed into rakhras (those worn in the forehead), necklaces, chokers, bracelets, waistbands, anklets, earrings, armlets, and earrings. Actually, as a fact, ornaments are made supposedly for every part of the human body—sixteen types of body adornment called solah shringar. This brings back into mind old times of luxurious lifestyles and grand magnificence. In Rajasthan, the largest state of the Republic of India, enamel has long been used in numerous ways in jewelry making.
The evident fine handiwork seen in Kundan jewelry makes it popular among women, not only in Asian countries, but among Westerners as well; although, caution should be taken in looking for authentic pieces. As the availability of online stores rapidly increases, there would also be those who are selling pieces, claiming to be real things, but in actuality are just cheap imitations of the craft.
Still, it should be worth noting how Kundan jewelry is taking great attention from the fashion world, specifically on the area of women’s fashion accessories. Pieces done with highly intricate designs and carefully watched over with high-quality workmanships are available for special occasions such as weddings, formal gatherings, or simple casual evening night outs.
Kundan jewelry is considered to follow one of the oldest jewelry-making traditions of India. The Kundan jewelry is said to have been made, not only for humans, but also for deities as well—even ceremonial elephants and horses. The materials used for making Kundan jewelry had to be from the finest materials—say, the gold used should be of high quality. People before used jewelries as forms of investment; thus, to go for pieces of lower quality makes little, if any, sense.