Indian jewelry is mainly known for intricate craftsmanship, rich cultural significance, and diverse styles. Among the various types of traditional jewelry, Kundan and Polki stand out as two exquisite forms that have captured the hearts of jewelry enthusiasts globally. Kundan and Polki jewelry may seem similar at first glance, but each possesses distinct characteristics that set them apart. The two most valuable and precisely loved jewelry types in India are Polki and Kundan jewelry. The gorgeous combination of beautifully studded and placed stone boundaries with materials of gold or silver lining create this jewelry. Let us delve into the differences between Kundan and Polki jewelry, exploring their origins, crafting techniques, materials, and cultural significance. Polki:Polki is accumulated uncut diamonds perfectly articulated to form an exquisite jewelry design. Polki is the raw form of diamonds that does not undergo artificial processing, giving it a rustic indie appearance that brings out the best of our Indianness in the jewelry. One of the best ways by which you can tell the difference between Polki and Kundan jewelry is that Polki comes with stones that are curved in shape or are a little convex in appearance which gives it a real look in every element. Kundan: Kundan jewelry looks similar to the jewelry derived from Polki. Where Polki is a diamond-oriented jewelry type, Kundan jewelry is made of glass stones which radiates a shimmery classy look. Kundan jewelry comes with an elegant shine which marks it differently from rustic polki jewelry. The type of glass used instead of diamonds makes it less expensive as compared to Polki. Origins and BackgroundKundan Jewelry: This jewelry traces its roots back to the Mughal era in India. The word “Kundan” is derived from a Sanskrit word which means pure gold. This type of jewelry is characterized by the elaborate setting of gemstones and intricate designs. This jewelry mainly gained popularity during the Mughal reign and has become an integral part of Indian bridal and festive wear. Polki Jewelry: This type of jewelry also emerged during the Mughal reign. The word “Polki” refers to uncut diamonds which are characterized by their natural, raw appearance. This jewelry mainly features uncut diamonds, set in intricate patterns with the help of gold foils. This type of jewelry was worn by royalty and aristocracy people symbolizing wealth and luxury. Crafting Techniques:Kundan jewelry: This jewelry is crafted using a labor-intensive procedure that involves setting gemstones, typically glass or semi-precious stones, in a gold or metal base. The stones are then encultured within the base with the technique called “Kundan setting” where the stones are set within a frame and secured using wax. The gaps between the stones are further filled with lac, a natural resin that adds brilliance to the jewelry’s look. Polki jewellery: This type of jewelry is characterized by its use of uncut diamonds which are prized for their unique sparkles and rustic appearance. The diamonds are then set in a manner that allows them to shine all through showcasing their natural facets. Thin sheets of gold are used for creating settings around diamonds which enhance the brilliance while maintaining the raw beauty of stones. Materials Used:Kundan jewelry: This type of jewelry employs glass or semi-precious stones as the central elements. These stones are faceted and colored to resemble the precious gems. The framework for the kundan setting is especially made from gold which provides a lustrous backdrop for the stones. Polki jewelry: This type of jewelry mainly revolves around uncut diamonds, that are sourced in their natural state. Gold, often in the form of delicate foils or intricate wirework is mainly used for holding the diamonds in place. This minimalist approach to settings helps the uncut diamonds take center stage. Cultural Significance: Kundan jewelry: This type of jewelry holds deep cultural significance in Indian weddings and festivity. Kundan jewelry is an essential part of bridal attire, symbolizing opulence, tradition, and timeless beauty. These sets are often passed through generations and are mostly cherished as family heirlooms. Polki jewelry: This jewelry emphasis on uncut diamonds exudes a sense of vintage charm and luxury. This is historically worn by royalty and continues to be associated with elegance and prestige. These pieces are favored for their ability to seamlessly blend traditional aesthetics with contemporary designs. How to Spot the Difference?Polki jewelry is rustic whereas kundan jewelry is sparkling shiny. Polki jewelry is composed of uncut diamonds, and Kundan jewelry comes with glass stones. Polki jewelry usually comes with a different color meenakari-looking design on the backside of the necklace which is not the case with kundan jewelry. Kundan jewelry is more affordable compared to Polki jewelry. There is a visible contrast in both pieces of jewelry. Kundan is more polished and usually reflects sunlight than Polki.Polki appears shinner than Kundan. Conclusion: Kundan and Polki jewelry shines as a remarkable example of India’s rich artistic heritage. While both these share common historical roots, crafting techniques, materials, and cultural significance distinguish them from one another. Kundan jewelry’s intricate setting of colored gemstones radiates vibrant elegance whereas polki jewelry uses uncut diamonds to encapsulate the allure of raw beauty. Both the above forms of jewelry showcase exquisite craftsmanship and time-honored traditions continue to captivate jewelry enthusiasts and collectors. Whether you are adorning a bride on her marriage day or enhancing the style of a discerning connoisseur, Kundan, and Polki jewelry remain treasured expressions of traditional jeweled legacy.