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Indian women have been known for their love of beautiful jewelry for thousands of years, especially when it comes to traditional Indian pieces. Even Indian women living abroad still hold a cherished, sentimental attachment to beautiful traditional pieces – and given their aesthetic beauty, it’s hard to blame them!
So, what are some must-have traditional jewelry staples for Indian women? From the mangalsutra to jhumka earrings, chokers to kundan jewelry, we’ve gathered a list of 5 pieces of ethnic jewelry that are a must-have for every Indian woman. So let’s take a look!
A sacred cultural symbol, the mangalsutra is a gold chain necklace that is gifted to the Indian bride on her wedding day, and it’s a must-have for any Indian bride looking to honor her roots and heritage. A traditional mangalsutra is usually made of black and gold beads on a gold or silver chain with a pendant at the end, and while it’s typically gifted to the bride by the groom’s family, many Indian women still play an active role in its design. You can take a look at some Bollywood actresses’ mangalsutra designs for inspiration; from Deepika Padukone to Shilpa Shetty, all of them wear their own necklaces in their own unique way. For an authentic Indian gold look, always opt for high gold karat: a 22k gold mangalsutra is one of the most popular options for modern Indian brides.
While toe rings were once a popular fashion in the West in the early 2000s and late 1990s, they’re still very much in vogue in India. Worn on either the second or third toe of both feet, they’re usually made of gold or silver, and are often adorned with gemstones or have intricate detailing engraved around the band. Toe rings were traditionally meant to ward off evil spirits, but they’re now seen as a stylish accessory for any Indian woman. Plus, some even believe that wearing toe rings can offer several health benefits to women, especially when it comes to regulating their menstrual cycle: the pressure of the toe ring (when worn on the second toe) is said to activate a specific nerve that leads to the uterus, promoting a regulated menstrual cycle and a healthy womb.
A true classic, chokers are always in style – but traditional Indian chokers are a step above Western designs. Indian chokers aren’t just metal bands or threads; they’re typically thicker and made with soft metals such as gold, and adorned with diamonds, gemstones, and other colorful embellishments. Whether they’re layered designs or cuff chokers, Indian women can choose to wear them as part of their everyday wardrobe, or for special occasions such as weddings – either way, chokers always add an elegant – yet dramatic – head-turning touch.
We all know that Indian women love earrings; from shoulder-dusters to oversized pendant designs, earrings are a great way to frame the face while also adding some all-important sparkle to your outfit. And when it comes to traditional Indian earrings, what better than Jhumka earrings? Jhumka designs are common in Indian jewelry, and feature a bell-shaped base that can be decorated with diamonds, precious stones, pearls or even enamel work. Choose from small and intricate designs for everyday use, or go big and dramatic for evening wear – either way, Jhumka earrings are a must-have for any woman looking to add an authentic Indian style to her look.
Kundan jewelry is a form of traditional Indian jewelry that has been crafted in Rajasthan since the 15th century; the word ‘kundan’ means ‘highly refined gold’, and refers to the special manufacturing method (the inclusion of gold foil) that is used to create these vibrant pieces.
Kundan jewelry usually features brightly colored gemstones, and unlike other types of jewelry, the process of setting the pieces in gold foil gives any Kundan piece a luxurious, opulent look that catches the light perfectly. What’s great about Kundan jewelry is that you can opt for the type of accessory that you love the most and enjoy its sparkle all year round, whether it be Kundan earrings or ornate Kundan bangles. You can even wear a full Kundan set and rival the sun in all its dazzling, glimmering glory – just make sure to opt for the highest quality gold.
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