The ultimate kundan jewellery guide
Welcome to Devangi’s kundan jewellery guide. The popularity of kundan jewellery is rising in the UK and across the world. Our team put together this handy kundan jewellery guide to help everyone learn about this type of Indian jewellery. Overall the guide will be useful in identifying kundan jewellery when shopping. So you know what to look for and don’t get caught out with false kundan. Or poor quality kundan jewellery.
In the guide, we cover the following:
The beauty of kundan jewellery for us is how it matches with almost any style of outfit. Neutral kundan sets are pieces to be kept forever as they are timeless and will match with anything. Kundan is for sure a go-to piece for many of our customers. Throughout the guide, you’ll be able to see different styles of kundan jewellery.
If you have any questions regarding our kundan jewellery guide, please get in touch with a member of the team. Also, if you’d like to go and see the current collection of kundan jewellery, please visit our store page.
What is kundan jewellery?
Kundan jewellery is a traditional form of Indian gemstone jewellery. It’s also one of the oldest forms of Indian jewellery that’s made and worn in India. Kundan is also known as a jewellery making method; where gold foil is set between the stones/gems and it’s mount.
In today’s world, kundan jewellery has developed vastly in terms of styles and designs. But the traditional methods to create it are still used. A lot of the kundan jewellery found online and in local shops is artificial kundan. Meaning the stones and materials used are artificial/faux. For example, instead of uncut diamonds, american diamonds or glass etc. will be used as the set stones. And rather than 24ct gold for the frame, a gold plated or silver plated frame is used. This allows the kundan ‘look and feel’ to be achieved and for it to be affordable. You can find that luxury Indian jewellery makers such as Sabyasachi, use the finest materials in their kundan jewellery items.
Based on the above, a top tip from us is to inspect the jewellery and find out what materials are used. You’ll be able to workout if the items are true to value to avoid getting ripped off.
Where does kundan jewellery come from?
Just like many types of Indian jewellery, kundan jewellery comes from India. It had originated in the royal courts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Kundan jewellery in India is also known as Bikeneri or Jaipuri jewellery. In India, Jaipur is known to be the centre and the place to go for kundan jewellery. The Mughal Era has been a significant period in time for many styles of Indian jewellery we love today. It’s also been an important period of time for kundan jewellery. Kundan jewellery had flourished under Royal patronage during the Mughal Era.
Bollywood is a huge influence on jewellery and determining which styles become fashionable and in-trend. One iconic Bollywood hit has moved kundan jewellery into a popular cycle is Jodhaa Akbar. The film released in 2008, and since then has set a trend of films showcasing traditional Indian jewellery. Even we admit to being in complete awe seeing Aishwarya Rai, aka Maharani Jodha Bai, being draped in stunning kundan pieces.
How is kundan jewellery made?
Kundan jewellery is created in a similar way to polki jewellery, you can see how polki is created in our polki jewellery guide. Overall, kundan jewellery is made by setting uncut diamonds and other gemstones into a bespoke pure gold or gold plated base. We’ll go through the entire process, step by step, of how kundan jewellery is made below.
To begin with, a skeletal framework is created that acts as the base for the piece. This is called the ‘Ghaat’.
A procedure called ‘Paadh’ takes place next. This involves wax being poured onto the framework and is moulded to the specifics in design.
Step three is called ‘Khudai’ – this is where the stones are carefully set into the frame.
One of the most intricate steps is the ‘Meenakari’ – this is where the enamel work is done that creates the designs on the reverse. Each individual casing in the frame will be filled with enamel work. Some examples of Meenakari work can be seen in the image below.
Next, the ‘Pakai’ process sees the gold foils being cold soldered using burnishing techniques.
The ‘Chillai’ process is the final step in the creation of kundan jewellery. It Chillai involves the polishing of all the gems in the piece.
Both genuine and artificial kundan jewellery follow this process. In some cases not exactly to detail but something very similar. You can learn more about the kundan jewellery making process by watching this short video by clicking here.
Is kundan jewellery expensive?
Due to the creation process, kundan jewellery is generally more expensive. Especially compared to other types of Indian costume jewellery. The main factor that determines the price you pay is whether it’s genuine kundan or artificial kundan jewellery. Artificial kundan jewellery will be cheaper as it uses more readily available materials. For example using artificial stones, glass stones and gold plated frames. Genuine kundan will utilise 24ct gold frames, uncut diamond stones etc. which means the price of the final piece will be expensive.
A simple way to assess the price of kundan pieces is to look at the size of the piece. If a necklace is just one strand of kundan, it’s going to be less expensive compared to one with three strands. Larger pieces with unique designs will be expensive due to using more materials, workmanship & man hours put in.
To view a few examples of how artificial kundan jewellery is priced, head over to our online store to see our kundan collection.
Where to buy kundan jewellery online
Kundan jewellery can be purchased online or in your local Indian jewellery store. When buying online or in store, it’s important to check the quality of the kundan from a few key indicators we’ve covered above:
All of the kundan jewellery available at Devangi is high-quality, artificial kundan jewellery. To browse our collection, head over to our store page and start shopping today! The styles shown in this kundan jewellery guide are also available to buy in our store (subject to availability).
In some cases, kundan jewellery is confused with polki jewellery. To learn about polki jewellery and what it is, checkout our guide to polki jewellery here.
If you have any questions regarding our kundan jewellery guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.