- The Importance of Jewelry in Indian Culture
- Why 22k Gold is Important in Indian Culture
- Popular Gemstones Used in Indian Jewelry
- Navaratna or Nine Gems
- Symbols Used in Indian Jewelry
- Solah Shringar: The 16 Bridal Adornments
- Types of Traditional Indian Jewelry
- Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Traditional Indian Jewelry
The Importance of Jewelry in Indian Culture
Wearing jewelry is not just about making a fashion statement in Indian culture. It is deeply connected with their spiritual and cultural beliefs. Some pieces of jewelry are indispensable when it comes to ceremonies and rituals and Indian weddings are a good example of this.
The union between bride and groom signifies the union of two families. Jewelry is an essential part of the ceremony as different pieces of jewelry have their own significance in Hindu culture. A bride’s ensemble won’t be complete without a collection of jewelry that includes a headpiece, earrings, a nose ring, a necklace, a waistbelt, an armlet or armband, rings, a hand harness, bangles, anklets, and toe rings.
These essential pieces of jewelry complete the look the of the bride and enhances her natural beauty on this most special occasion. They signify different intentions to help the bride and groom enjoy the new chapter of their lives. To add to that, jewelry brings in more blessings to the couple as they begin their lives together.
Indian weddings are lavishly decorated and are considered to be one of the most beautiful ceremonies in the world. The lively nature of Hindu weddings along with the playful colors, elegant accessories, and grand celebrations make them one of the most awaited and cherished events in any community.
Weddings aren’t the only events where jewelry takes center stage. Some communities also consider jewelry as an integral part of their religion. Kadas, karas, or kangans are worn by Sikh men as a sign of their reverence for their faith. The bangles remind them to perform their duties to the best of their abilities while on earth. Tilaks are a piece of jewelry that is worn on the forehead as a sign of religious faith. It symbolizes the door of the soul and gives the wearer a sense of belongingness—bringing a deep connection to higher beings.
Some types of jewelry are also believed to ward off evil spirits, attract good fortune, and promote good health. These can be made of various precious metals with ornate designs. Certain gemstones also have significant meanings, with some pertaining to caste. Some gemstones like the Navratna are also believed to hold mystical powers and are tied to astrology and mythology.
Why 22k Gold is Important in Indian Culture
22k gold is one of the most sought-after metals in the world. In India, it holds a special place in their cultural and spiritual beliefs. Gold is said to purify anything it touches and is seen as a status symbol. It also symbolizes good health, success, and prosperity—making it an essential part of ceremonies and rituals all over the country.
Since 22k gold is considered as one of the purest forms of metal—91.67% in purity— it is one of the most precious metals that can be used in making jewelry. This makes the gold harder, more durable, and less prone to tarnishing.
Traditionally, Indian jewelry is made of gold while more modern approaches to jewelry making saw the use of natural diamonds and other precious or semi-precious materials. Gold stays on top as it is considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity in the Eastern world and signified a family’s wealth and status. Jewelry on the other hand enhances and accentuates what is already beautiful, making the combination of the two a powerful symbol and personal statement of the wearer.
While the concept of marriage has evolved over time, the tradition of exchanging precious metals and stones to signify the union of two people is as old as the ancient Sanskrit scriptures. In fact, it is said that the “Rig Veda”—the oldest scripture in history—refers to gold as a symbol of prosperity and success. This sentiment carried on throughout Indian culture, where gold jewelry was traditionally worn by women on special occasions such as a wedding or the birth of a child.
In wedding ceremonies, both the bride and groom can be seen wearing their traditional attires made even more beautiful by jewelry made of various precious metals and stones. In addition, as the bride is welcomed into the groom’s extended family, the quality and weight of the gold jewelry bestowed upon her go hand-in-hand with the purification ritual.
It is also common practice among Hindus to pass on family heirlooms in the form of gold jewelry. Families consider these pieces a family treasure and they make sure that the next generations inherit these precious items as time goes on to keep the family legacy alive. Of course, accrual of additional gold pieces is always welcome and encouraged as they add more value to the family’s wealth. It is also considered a good omen, attracting wealth and prosperity in the years to come.
Gold is also considered an investment in Indian culture. Being a precious metal, it can be traded and sold whenever the need arises.
Popular Gemstones Used in Indian Jewelry
While gold remains to be the staple in Indian jewelry, Indians also have a soft spot for beautiful gemstones. These precious stones can accentuate any piece of jewelry and elevate their looks with an exotic flair.
Some of the most popular gemstones used in Indian jewelry include diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and pearls. However, modern jewelry manufacturers have recognized the rise of popularity of other gemstones like onyx, jade, amethyst, aquamarine, topaz, and garnet.
Aside from enhancing the overall appearance and appeal of jewelry, gemstones also have symbolical meanings in Hindu belief. Certain stones are believed to have magical or mystical properties that are able to purify, attract bounty, and ward off evil spirits.
Diamonds are considered to be one of the most valuable stones in the world. It is worn to celebrate Venus, a symbol of femininity and beauty. Diamonds are believed to bring the wearer fortune, power, and are connected to wedded bliss.
The ruby is probably one of the most well-worn gemstones in all of India. It is the gemstone of the sun and is worn to appease the sun god and bring in positive energy. The red gemstone can be commonly found on rings, however, communities like the chettairs use the ruby as a centerpiece in the thali (wedding chain) to solemnize marriages.
Emeralds are said to be of great value to the Hindus due to their ability to increase concentration, mental alertness, and intellectual power. The beautiful stone with varying shades of green is worn by people of different ages.
Pearls are a popular choice among people in India due to their relatively affordable price and classic appeal. They are commonly found in Indian bridal jewelry like jhumkas as dangling accent pieces. Pearls are linked to emotional stability and creativity.
Navaratna or Nine Gems
While we are on the topic of gemstones, it is important to recognize another cultural belief that is rooted in Indian astrology. Ancient astrologers believed that wearing gemstones of different colors and properties may help alter one’s fate and bring health benefits to the wearer. These gemstones are called the Navaratna or “nine gems” as they represent the nine planets of our solar system.
Astrologers of old also believed that the gemstones should be worn in a specific order to prevent bad luck from coming to the wearer. The ruby is supposed to always be at the center of the jewelry as it symbolizes the sun—the center of our solar system. The gemstones are also supposed to be flawless with no distinguishable cracks, fissures, or rough edges. The gemstones should also be placed in a clockwise direction in this order: diamond, pearl, coral, hessonite, blue sapphire, cat’s eye, yellow sapphire, and emerald.
Here are the nine gems or the Navaratna and their corresponding symbols:
- Ruby - signifies the Sun
- Pearl - signifies the Moon
- Emerald - signifies Mercury
- Red Coral - signifies Mars
- Yellow sapphire - signifies Jupiter
- Diamond - signifies Venus
- Blue sapphire - signifies Saturn
- Hessonite - signifies Rahu, the ascending lunar position
- Cat’s Eye - signifies Ketu, the descending lunar position
Some Navaratna jewelry includes rings, necklaces, pendants, and earrings. Both men and women can wear Navaratna jewelry. The believed effects can vary from person to person but they can prove to be detrimental to the wearer if worn the wrong way.Women are supposed to wear a navaratna ring on their left finger. Men, on the other hand, should wear it on their right finger.
Symbols Used in Indian Jewelry
India’s rich culture is abundant in icons and symbols. The same can be said about their jewelry. In the old days, prominent people like royalty and people in power wear jewelry as a means to identify themselves and their beliefs. This practice trickled down to ordinary citizens and has made its way to rituals and ceremonies.
Aside from being a status symbol and fashion statement, traditional Indian jewelry is also worn as a supplement to religion and spirituality. It is not uncommon for sacred temples to be adorned with intricate pieces of jewelry. In fact, jewelry donations are a common practice in India, and the estimated amount of jewelry offered to the gods and goddesses rack up to tons yearly.
We’ve talked about gemstones as an integral part of traditional Indian jewelry. Now, let’s take a look at other symbols that also give traditional jewelry their exotic and cultural appeal. Images of gods and animals can be often found on jewelry as they symbolize different things and appease deities. The elephant is one of India’s most revered animals. It is also a symbol for Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings. Jewelry featuring an elephant design is said to bring luck to new beginnings, making it an auspicious gift for newlyweds who are just entering a new chapter in their lives. Elephants are symbols of strength, good fortune, health, and happiness.
Peacocks are also common in Indian jewelry. Their majestic appearance and beautiful colors make for very attractive pieces of jewelry. Surely, any bride would be thrilled to wear precious items with such beautiful features. On the symbolic side, peacocks represent beauty, grace, and pride. These are fitting characteristics of the national bird of India. Peacocks are portrayed as the vehicles for many deities in Hindu mythology. The goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi, is mostly associated with the peacock. With a history as vibrant as their feathers, parrots can be usually seen in traditional Indian jewelry. These winged messengers, storytellers, and teachers are celebrated in Indian texts and myths. Parrots are associated with Lord Kama, the god of love. They can also be found in temple art and symbolize fertility and desire.
The fish is another animal that can be seen on Indian jewelry. It has been noted in texts that the fish was the form that Lord Vishnu took to guide Manu who is believed to be the creator of humans. Lord Vishnu guided Manu’s boat through a great deluge with his fish form. Manu is then said to begin life anew to propagate humankind. The fish is a symbol of rebirth in Hindu belief. It also represents fertility and abundance in many religions in South Asia.
Solah Shringar: The 16 Bridal Adornments
Every bride imagines herself on her wedding day. She dreams of a perfect dress, a beautiful veil, and the perfect hairstyle. But Indian brides take their wedding preparation to the next level, choosing their 16 adornments with purpose and meaning. Indian weddings are celebrations of love and unity and the bride’s jewelry represent the union of man and woman in marriage.
The tradition of wearing 16 adornments or the Solah Shringar, is deeply embedded in Indian culture. The ceremony is performed for every bride, and it is a part of the bridal preparation. It is meticulous and is meant to bring out the natural beauty of the bride as she prepares to enter married life.
Shringar is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “to make beautiful” or “divine beauty”. This makes sense since the 16 adornments are symbolic representations of the divine—the goddess Lakshmi, in particular.
A symbol of the union of marriage. The groom applies a bright red powder on his bride's forehead at the center of the parting of her hair.
The bride usually ties her hair in a traditional braid or puts it up in a bun. The keshapasharachana is a hair ornament that is attached to the bride's hair. Other adornments include flowers and gold ornaments are added to add beauty to the arrangement.
The bindi is a symbol of married life and is deeply rooted in Hinduism. It is placed between the bride's eyebrows and is traditionally applied using vermillion powder. Modern interpretations of the bindi involve the use of stickers or gem-encrusted bindis.
- Maang Tikka or Mangtikka
The maang tikka is an important part of the bride's jewelry collection. It is a hair accessory that is placed on her forehead and is usually made of gold and precious gems. The maang tikka is a headpiece that adds a charming effect that enhances the face of the bride.
- Anjana or Kajal
The bride's eyes are made even more beautiful with the application of anjana or kajal. It is applied on the edges of the eyelids.
- Nath or nose ring
Brides wear a nath or nose ring on the left side of her nose. It is another symbol of married life in Hindu culture and can be as simple as a stud or nose pin. Another version is more detailed with ornate stone settings and a chain that drapes along the cheek.
A souvenir necklace from the groom that is given to the bride. The mangalsutra is called the "holy thread" that binds the two in marriage. It is usually made of gold, black beads, and precious stones. The haar or necklace is a symbol of prosperity.
- Karn Phool
Karn phool means 'ear flower' or earrings. Adorning one's ear with rings is considered auspicious in Hindu belief. Jhumkas fall under this category.
An armlet that is traditionally worn on the upper arm that is said to protect its wearer from evil spirits. The bajuband is typically made of silver and gold and can be embellished with gemstones.
- Choodiyan or Bangles
In Indian weddings, the bride is expected to wear both gold and glass bangles which signify long life and success for her groom. Shaking the bangles after marriage for good health, luck, and prosperity is part of wedding tradition.
- Mehendi Also known as henna, mehendi is considered to be one of the most important parts of Hindu culture. It is used in other events aside from weddings like festivals and ceremonies. Intricate patterns are drawn on the hands and feet of the bride. The dark red or maroon color of the henna is believed to bring in good luck and stands as a symbol of love between the married couple.
An ornate waistband that enhances the natural silhouette of the bride's body. It also serves a practical purpose as it helps keep the sari in place. Different gemstones and designs can be found on more ornate kamarbandh versions.
- Payal and bichus
The payal or anklet typically has small bells that make a sound as the bride walks. The bichus or toe rings are worn on the second toe signify married life.
Also means scent. The bride rubs perfume on herself to keep her smelling fragrant throughout the wedding ceremony and rituals.
- Aarsi or hathphool
The aarsi or finger thumbs and hathphool or hand harnesses are is unique pieces of Indian jewelry that draw attention to the bride's hands and enhance their natural beauty.
- Shaadi ka Joda or Bridal Dress
One of the most crucial elements of the Solah Shringar. Indian bridal dresses come in auspicious colors like red, green, gold, or maroon.
Types of Traditional Indian Jewelry
The maang tikka is a piece of traditional Indian jewelry for women that is worn on the head. It is an elegant headpiece that consists of a metallic chain that is linked to a pendant on the end. Adorned with different embellishments, stones, and ornate designs, this piece of Indian jewelry can be considered the crowning jewel of any bride’s wedding ensemble.
One unique distinguishing feature of the maang tikka is its placement. Maang tikkas are worn along the hairline and they are one of the most noticeable pieces of jewelry that a bride can wear on her special day. They are generally worn at the middle parting of the hair and accentuate the face of the bride with different precious stones and metals. The chains of the maang tikka also serve as a complementing component to the headpiece.
Aside from being a beautiful piece of jewelry, the maang tikka also holds cultural significance. In Indian culture, the central portion of the forehead is believed to hold the sixth chakra (third eye) that holds the power of the soul that is responsible for preservation.
The jhoomar is another essential piece of Indian jewelry that is worn on the left side of the head. Its use traces back to the arrival of the Mughals and was adapted for use by brides in North India. It has Islamic influences and is a gorgeous addition to any bride’s wedding ensemble. Traditionally, the jhoomar has a semicircular design that has a likeness to the crescent moon. It has evolved through the years has now and taken up a more modern design with different stone settings and materials.
Like the maang tikka, the jhoomar is also an elegant headpiece for formal occasions. It is worn on the side of the head and attached to the bride’s hair, accentuating her temple. This is another exquisite piece of jewelry with an ornate design usually studded with precious stones. Pearls can also be seen dangling from the ends of the jhoomar, adding flair and charm to this traditional piece of jewelry.
The crescent moon of the jhoomar also has a symbolic meaning. The changing moon phases symbolize the changing emotions of a human being which is controlled by the left side of the brain, thus the placement on the left part of the head. Symbolically, the jhoomar is worn by the bride to keep her control of emotions as she enters a new chapter in her life.
Earrings are also an integral part of traditional Indian jewelry. They are a great focal point if you are creating a beautiful arrangement to compliment your attire. Jhumkas make for great accent pieces due to their timeless bell-shaped silhouette. Modern adaptations of this traditional Indian jewelry also make it a good choice for special occasions.
While the jhumka has been reinvented to adapt to more modern times, its true beauty lies in its history and provenance. This popular earring style can be traced back to the Chola dynasty, with ancient temple statues bearing the signature bell-shaped earrings. This makes the jhumka a time-tested design (it can be dated to be as old as 300s BCE) and truly an integral part of Indian bridal wear.
Jhumkas are characterized by their bell shape and were a popular choice among traditional temple dancers. They are usually made with precious metals adorned with different jewels and stones, adding more elegance to their rich heritage. This type of earring is bold and beautiful, making heads turn with its attractive embellishments and unmistakable look and presence. For the bride who wants to make a statement, wearing jhumkas with brilliant stones and a large silhouette is the way to go.
As we delve deeper into the subject of traditional Indian jewelry, it is important to note the existence of balis or chandbalis. Balis are earrings that are typically ring-shaped while some more elaborate designs (i.e. chandbalis) employ crescent moons that hark back to the time of the Mughals. They are an Indian jewelry staple and are still a popular design commonly used by women. Some modern interpretations of the design have also been adapted for use to suit all ages.
Like other jewelry designs, balis or chandbalis are often crafted using precious metals and are adorned with intricate designs. However, there are more simple designs that employ fewer jewels and are smaller compared to chandbalis which are often bigger and heavier. Whether you’re going for a simpler or bolder look, there’s a bali design that’s perfect for you.
Chandbalis are characterized by the crescent moon or half-moon design that can be fitted with more intricate designs and precious stones. They can be worn on casual to even formal occasions depending on the design and size. Some chandbalis on the other hand go all-out with dangling pearls, heavier weight, and more detailed designs. These are perfect for brides who want to go for a more stunning look that leaves an impression long after the celebrations have concluded.
Nath or Nose Ring
The nath or nose ring is an indispensable part of any Indian bride’s wedding ensemble. In fact, many cultures practice the use of nose rings as part of their casual and formal wear. It is one of those jewelry pieces that mixes elegance and culture in one unique package.
Typically, there are two different types of nose rings: the nose pin which is characterized by its simple design (some are simple studs) and the other is the nose ring that is bigger in design and can be used in conjunction with other jewelry (connected via a long chain).
The nose pin can be a simple stud made of gold and other precious metals. Nose pins also come in an assortment of designs ranging from simple to extravagant. It is not uncommon to see nose pins that are studded with precious stones. The delicate but elegant look of this piece of jewelry makes this a popular choice for Indian women of different ages.
Nose rings on the other hand are typically bigger and grander in design. They are commonly seen on formal occasions like weddings that complement the bride’s wedding attire. Some nose rings use a long chain that is draped along the cheek and is then connected to the hair using a pin. These nath designs give out a more extravagant and ethnic look to any bride’s wedding ensemble.
Interesting fact: nose pins and nose rings are usually worn on the left side of the nose and many communities use nose rings as part of their customary holy rituals.
The mangalsutra can be considered as one of the most important parts of a bride’s wedding ensemble. The mangalsutra is not just a beautiful piece of jewelry, it also holds significant cultural value.
The mangalsutra is referred to as the ‘sacred thread’ that binds the wife and husband together. It signifies the solemnity of their marriage and is therefore an essential part of the bride’s wedding attire. The groom ties it around the bride’s neck during the ceremony—it’s both a revered and beautiful tradition in Hindu culture.
Traditionally, mangalsutras were simple gold threads sometimes adorned with black beads and a gold piece. Through the years, it has evolved into something more complex with some pieces carrying more ornate gold pendants, jewels, and other precious materials. Now, bigger and bolder designs (often more intricate as well) can be seen in modern Indian weddings, making the mangalsutra a focal piece and not just a symbolic accessory.
They are beautiful necklaces to be bestowed upon the bride and make for a wonderful addition to any wedding affair. The rich history of mangalsutras and advancements in jewelry design and construction make for a wonderful marriage of old traditions and new ways of life.
Kamarbandh or Waist Belt
Used by many communities in traditional ceremonies and rituals, the kamarbandh or waist belt is considered to be a festive ornament. Traditionally, kamarbandhs are heavy ornamental belts with intricate designs and patterns. They draw attention to the waistline and accentuate the natural curves and shape of the wearer. They are also associated with the sensuality and voluptuousness of the feminine figure.
Kamarbandhs are worn around the waist over traditional Indian outfits like the saree to hold it in place. The belt is tightened around the waist to enhance the hips of the wearer. The intricate designs on the belt along with the precious stones and other adornments draw attention to the area with the added visual interest they bring to the jewelry.
It is not uncommon for kamarbandhs to have encrusted diamonds and other stones like emeralds, rubies, and jewels. This traditional piece of jewelry also has a rich history. Temple art all over India shows the use of kamarbandhs or waist belts in stone reliefs. Designs range from simple beaded belts to heavy kamarbandhs with detailed ornaments and delicate forms.
Interesting fact: the kamarbandh is also strongly associated with Indian classical dance forms Odishi, Baharatnatyam, and Kathak Aspara.
- Arms and Hands
Kada/Kara or Kangan
Kadas/karas or kangans are a symbol of a woman's strength, her identity, and her culture. A kada/kara is a traditional Indian bangle bracelet, often made of solid 22K gold or filled with lac. In Hindi, the word ‘lac’ means “playfulness”, which is why this type of bangle is often worn by married women to signify their husband’s love for them. It symbolizes the playfulness of the newlywed life that married couples get to enjoy after their wedding day.
The kada is worn by women of all ages—from a toddler to an older woman—and is considered an essential accessory throughout a woman's life. It is traditionally given to an Indian bride as part of her trousseau (a collection of clothing and jewelry specifically intended for a bride) by the groom's family, as well as being worn as ornaments on her wedding day. They are also worn at other important events such as weddings and religious festivals. The kada or kangan is designed with intricate details such as filigree work in a cuff style to reflect the artistic and traditional cultural heritage of India.
The kada/kangan is often adorned with motifs such as peacocks, elephants, parrots, and serpents to ward off evil. Its style ranges from simple to intricate handmade designs, often studded with precious and semi-precious stones such as cut diamonds, emeralds, rubies, uncut diamonds, and other gems.
Interesting facts: while kadas are mostly worn by Indian women, there are some men who wear them for religious purposes. In Sikhism, men wear kadas/karas as a constant reminder to perform their religious duties as long as they live. Women traditionally wear kadas or karas on their left arm while men wear them on the right.
Bajuband or Vanki
The bajuband is an armlet worn on the biceps, and it is a special part of the bridal jewelry that is popular across Maharashtra and even South India. A more common design of bajuband is in a rope shape with beautiful motifs and designs decorated with stones or even diamonds.
It was originally worn by dancers who wanted to protect their upper arms from the friction caused by vigorous movements. Over time, it became a popular piece of jewelry that has become a part of the tradition of marriage among Hindu families in some regions.
The vanki, on the other hand, is quite different due to its inverted v-shape that is usually made of precious and even artificial metals. Another special thing about the vanki is its design that seamlessly fits over the bicep without creating any pressure over the arm. It typically has several holes along its length so that it can be threaded easily around one's arm.
Different archaeological discoveries have shown that wearing a bajuband traditionally has been prevalent across the nation, with different cultures having their own versions of the jewelry. Dancers, particularly Bharatnatyam performers, can be credited with the idea of popularizing this piece of jewelry
Interesting fact: the bajuband or vanki were used by soldier and farmers in their day-to-day attire. It is also worn by men during weddings in other cultures and countries.
Hathphool or Hand Harness
India is known for its rich tradition of artisanship and craftsmanship, and nowhere is that more evident than in the country's legacy of jewelry.
The hathphool is a traditional Indian jewel that has been worn by queens, courtesans, princesses, and even gypsies. The term "hath phool" literally translates to 'flower of the hand,' although it's not technically a bracelet or bangle. The hathphool is actually an ornamental piece of jewelry in which a gemstone is placed between two metal plates that are then fitted onto the base of the finger. The hathphool has roots in a jewelry tradition that dates back to Mughal rule in the 16th century. It has origins in Persia and was popularized by Mughal queens and were then adapted by courtesans who served them. The hathphool also found widespread adoption in Rajasthan by Rajput royalty.
This piece of traditional Indian jewelry then traveled across the subcontinent; today, it is part of the solah shringar, or 16 bridal ornaments traditionally worn by Hindu women on their wedding day. A study of this piece's journey through time reveals so much: a testament to the eternal appeal of this homegrown jewel that continues to be relevant even after several centuries.
The payal or anklet is a silver or alloy chain worn by married Hindu women around the ankles. It is mostly made of silver since it is considered irreligious to wear gold jewelry on one’s feet. In Hindu belief, gold symbolizes Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth hence traditional payals are mostly made out of silver.
Payals are can be often seen containing gemstones, pearls, beads, small stones of different colors, and bells. They are gifted to a newlywed woman and are an integral part of any bride's attire. It is also not uncommon for unmarried girls also wear payals—signifying their pride and bravery. In fact, payals are often gifted to little girls even before they can walk.
Traditional payal designs are heavy and come in form of anklets with small bells that make a sound as the wearer walks. Nowadays, these types of anklets are typically worn by classical dancers during performances. However, women in rural and tribal India still wear heavy payals made of silver and other alloys. These old-fashioned payals usually bear intricately carved designs that hark back to the history of this piece of traditional Indian jewelry. Interesting fact: women from Rajasthan wear some of the heaviest payals made out of silver. On the other hand, more modern versions of the payal include anklets made of different materials like threads and stringed beads that offer more comfort at the expense of value.
Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Traditional Indian Jewelry
While traditional Indian jewelry is beautiful and elegant, there are certain rules that should be followed when it comes to wearing them. As they are important, sometimes even sacred to Hindu culture and beliefs, one must be mindful and knowledgeable about what is appropriate and what is not.
A general rule in wearing Indian jewelry is that gold pieces should only be worn from the waist up. This means that any other jewelry that is worn on the ankles and toes should be made of another material. Silver and other metal alloys are okay for jewelry meant to be worn on the feet.
Gold holds significant value—not only monetary but also cultural, religious, and spiritual—in Hinduism. That is why you’d only see traditional payals and bichuls are typically made of silver and other semi-precious metals. Gold is reserved for pieces like tikka jewelry, jhumkas, mangalsutras, haars, kamarbandhs, and bajubands with respect to Hindu beliefs.
Another general rule to be followed is the use of silver and other materials for jewelry meant to be worn from the waist down. This includes anklets and toe rings as they are more appropriate in accordance with traditions.
As stated above, there are a few rings to be followed when it comes to wearing Navaratna jewelry. Men wear Navaratna rings on the right finger while women wear them on the left. The blue sapphire should also be pointed towards the body of the wearer, hence its placement on the bottom of the arrangement.
The nine gems should also follow this order (clockwise): diamond, pearl, coral, hessonite, blue sapphire, cat’s eye, yellow sapphire, and emerald. Navaratna jewels are also supposed to be free from imperfections like cracks, fissures, or rough edges.
Another thing to take into consideration when deciding to wear traditional Indian jewelry is the setting. While it can be flattering to some, wearing traditional Indian jewelry if you’re not of Indian descent may appear to be off-putting for others. Some would even call it cultural appropriation. It would be best to stay safe and learn more about Hindu culture before deciding to wear anything that may draw ire from Indian nationals.
Why Shop at Gold Palace
One of the World’s Oldest Online Jewelry Shops
Gold Palace has been in the jewelry business since 1994, providing high-quality 22k gold South Asian jewelry. We understand the value of fine jewelry that is why we aspire to give our customers only the best deals.
Our collection of 22k, 18k, and 14k gold with precious stones is made by highly-skilled artisans who know what it takes to make truly spectacular jewelry. We only use the best materials and the finest 22k and 18k gold sourced from the top producers in the world including India, Dubai, and Singapore. We make our artisanal creations available to jewelry lovers and aficionados all over the world through our website.
Shop with confidence as we only offer jewelry that is made of true gold and VS1 diamonds. Gold Palace carries more than 500 unique and often limited jewelry with designs that ranges from traditional Indian bridal jewelry to more modern timeless styles that will surely be at home in anyone’s prized collection. Our elegant and sophisticated pieces are designed and made in order to satisfy even the most discerning collectors.
At Gold Palace, our aim is to make you happy with your acquisition. We only partner with the most talented and skilled craftsmen in order to bring you the best jewelry that can be passed on to the next generations. Our website also offers secure and hassle-free shopping so you can enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
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