Meet the brand behind Aditi Rao Hydari’s engagement ring: Andal Gems & Jewels

Indian jewellery magazine by Solitaire International Magazine

Aditi Rao Hydari’s Toi et Moi solitaire engagement rings made quite the headlines when she and Siddharth announced their engagement on Instagram a few months ago. While her ring style and choice of diamonds were talked about, there was little mention of the designer.

Enter Esshitha Guna, a young law graduate turned jewellery designer, who recently founded her own brand Andal Gems & Jewels, in Hyderabad. The first thing that strikes you about her brand is the use of intense coloured gemstones and the global aesthetic that transcends her designs and product styling.

Esshitha Guna, Founder, Andal Gems & Jewels

Perhaps it comes from Esshitha Guna’s time spent studying law in the UK and gemmology from GIA in New York. Her initial collections – gem-laden eternity rings, diamond-studded link bracelets, signet rings, and more for men – all focused on timeless designs with quality gemstones.

With her latest Spiral collection, Guna comes into her own as she brings a sense of playfulness and deeper symbolism to her jewellery. The design hints at the adventure of life woven with the highs and lows, subtly brings a pop of colour through gemstones to represent all the beautiful parts of life – love, magic and full of wonder!

In  this free-wheeling interview,  Guna talks about falling in love with gems, designing for Aditi Rao Hydari and Siddharth, and her plans to retail internationally.

Pendants and bangles from the Spiral collection encrusted with diamonds and coloured gemstones. By Andal Gems & Jewels

How and when did you decide to start your own jewellery brand?

The story of how we began is a special one. My father is a first-generation jeweller in our family, and not once did he push my sister or me to join him in his company. It so happened that during Covid, I was back home from law school (in the UK). I started spending my days at my father’s showroom observing the daily business and his interaction with clients with so much passion. Subconsciously, there was a part of me that loved the detailing and the quality conscious aspect. I wanted to learn more, and was fortunate enough to go study gemmology at GIA in New York.

It was life-changing and one of the best times of my life. A whole new world opened up, and that glow was all over me. I came back to India to resume working at my father’s store and that’s where the story took a new turn. He suggested that I start my own jewellery company and do things my way. At first, I wasn’t too happy to work separately from his company, however there was also a curiosity that took the lead, and here we are!

What made you switch over from being a lawyer to starting your own jewellery brand?

Law is still a part of me, I do, from time to time, find myself working in the legal areas of my father’s and my companies. I enjoyed my experience at law school and was called a natural while representing in a mock court, however, the jewellery world opened up for me, and I cannot think of anything else that excites me this much!

How do you leverage your family’s jewellery background in your current brand?

Starting off at Gunaas as an employee under my dad’s guidance was the biggest masterclass one could get. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to watch him work up-close. He’s definitely my idol, and I look up to him for his principles and his knack for quality jewellery. His goodwill has been a huge advantage for me in the market, which is dominated by senior karigars and gemmologists.

The initial collection encompassed timeless pieces such as diamond-studded coloured bracelets, eternity rings and more. By Andal Gems & Jewels

Why did you choose the name Andal?

Andal is the name of my late paternal grandmother. Initially, I went through a lot of name options before we launched, most having to do with colour (since we are gemstone-focused) in different languages, and so on. However, nothing fit. I wanted the name to have a strong presence with a fun vibe. Then it occurred to me: my grandmother was a woman of strength and character. Her name felt just right! The brand name is a tribute to her.

How has the response been since you started your brand?

It has been unreal. We’ve been blessed with such wonderful clients. I can’t even begin to explain. I am grateful for them every day. The response has been overwhelming and we’re driven to make the best for them.

Tell us about your latest spiral collection. What inspired this collection?

The Spiral is a take on the ever-evolving nature of life. The design is a subtle hint at each one’s adventure, with a peek-a-boo of colour that represents all the beautiful parts: love, magic and wonder!

The brand focuses on high quality coloured gemstone jewellery. By Andal Gems & Jewels

You also have a separate collection for men. Tell us about the current jewellery market for men.

Men have been opting for everyday and evening fine jewellery and styling it so freshly! Signet rings and link bracelets are definitely their first pick.

For me, the best part is working on engagement rings. In Andal’s co-creative process of designing engagement rings, the way men have been involved is just heart-warming. They are so well-versed with the different designs and come prepared with their research on the 4cs. It makes the ring all the more special with their love-filled efforts.

You recently designed engagement rings for Aditi Rao Hydari and Siddharth. Could you tell us how it came to be?

It was an experience that I’ll cherish forever. The whole experience, although it went on for months, feels like a quick magical episode. Both of them are so wonderful and kind and had beautiful insights on how they wanted the rings to be.

For Aditi, we made an iconic Toi Et Moi ring with a double solitaire that exudes elegance and romance. She’s one of the very few brides in India to have chosen this style of ring, and we could not have been happier to be the ones making it for her.

Siddharth’s engagement ring is an ode to his love for cinema. The big three gemstones and diamonds are used to represent the primary colours of light. By Andal Gems & Jewels

For Siddharth, we crafted one of Andal’s most challenging pieces yet: a ring with a story to tell. This ring embodied his love for cinema, showcasing the primary colours of light through three prominent gemstones, all set on a brushed matte gold band adorned with diamonds.

Where is your jewellery available?

We’re available exclusively inside Gunaas on Road No.45, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.

What are your future plans for the brand? Do you plan to sell internationally?

We’re onto our next and final collection for the year 2024. Our vision is global. We want to reach all the clients seeking our jewellery and will do so soon!


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