They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert – and in the case of Indian jewellers, you can also add generations of family knowledge and the power of mythology. With a legacy of 5,000 years, the history of jewellery and its artisans in India has often been quoted as the history of the country itself. For 2,000 years India was the sole exporter of gems. It was also the Indians who invented the diamond drill which they then taught to the Romans. And in modern day India, there are an astounding five to six million jewellers who contribute a total of 7% to the country’s GDP.
In fact, jewellery is so important to India that jewellers arguably transcend India’s caste system. Instead of being defined by their place or status of birth, they belong to the Vishwakarma caste, a special caste of craftsmen who some consider to be on a par with the priest caste of Brahmans. In recognition of their skills, they are named after the deity Vishwakarma, who according to Hindu mythology is the creative power that holds the universe together and who is the original architect and divine engineer of the universe.
And it is no wonder, given their almost vast array of talents that Indian jewellers are held in such high regard. Indian jewellery has historically been characterised by some of the finest handwork that requires painstaking attention to detail. So fine is their work, that every State in India has its own special style of crafting – from lace-like filigree in Gujarat, to glittering cut stones in Bengal, to vibrant Kundan jewellery combining diamond, gold and enamel created in Rajasthan.
Indian jewellers also have a demanding customer base that far exceeds Western standards. With a love of opulent jewellery that is associated with the Maharajahs, Indian men are proud wearers of some of the most extravagent jewellery. And religion and tradition has played a large part in the amazing breadth of jewellery worn by women, often as a reflection of status as well as for good fortune. It is no surprise then, that Indian jeweller's and expertise knows no bounds - from crowns, waist belts, nose rings and nath chains (chains that connect your nose ring to your hair) to finger rings, necklaces and anklets, the array of choices is breathtaking.
With her own family history in India, Brave Edith founder, Stephanie Sieber, is fortunate to partner with one of India’s leading jewellery firms. It is through such skills Brave Edith jewellery is made with outstanding attention to detail, using a mixture of fine hand skills and industry leading technology.
It’s clear COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, so the more we learn to live with it, the better. We are all getting used to keeping our distance and washing our hands regularly, however one thing that isn’t often talked about is keeping your jewellery clean.
Jewellery that is worn every day is wonderful for harbouring bacteria in its nooks and crannies. The good news is diamonds and precious metals are quite resilient and with the right attention to detail, are very easy to clean. Here are some tips on how to clean some of the most common everyday gold and silver jewellery.
When it comes to making a fashion statement, you should always dress in a way that makes you feel fantastic. It's also lovely to get compliments on how wonderful YOU look rather than on just the pieces you are wearing.
So how do you choose items that bring out your best features? When it comes to statement earrings, the best way to create an impact is to ensure that you choose earring styles that suit your face shape and features. Find out your face type and tips on earring styles to complement you.
Why choose precious metals? Many of us wear our favourite jewellery day in, day out. This means that it needs to be constructed of materials that will stand the test of time and will be comfortable to wear. Silver and gold are particularly prized for their durability as well as their hypoallergenic properties. While jewellery made from base metals such as brass may be cheaper, these metals are less durable and much more likely to create an allergy. That's why it's important to look out for hallmarks, or metal "fineness" or "quality" marks when buying jewellery.