The Eternal Lure of Jadau

Amplified with an assortment of precious gemstones, pearls and polkis, jadau jewellery still retains a hold over today’s brides.

Jadau jewellery is a perennial favourite of Indian brides for decades. Handcrafted with a series of complex processes, jadau is a recoding of our rich heritage for the modern woman. Populated with traditional embellishments such as emeralds, rubies and sparkling polkis and creamy pearls, jadau lines are often highlighted with bright or pastel shades of enamel. We spoke to some top designer brands who shared their views about the latest trends in jadau.

Elaborate Chokers & Earrings Trending

Pratiksha Prashant, CEO, Kishandas & Co., Hyderabad:  Jadau jewellery is rich and colourful as it teams up with bridal ensembles. The jadau jewellery in Jaipur is made with different techniques as compared to the south. In the former, meenakari and partash work (engraving, kundan setting and inlay) work are used to highlight the pieces. The jadau made in the South uses solid gold and pachi work (use of large and medium uncut diamonds) with neat finish. Nowadays, brides love the jadau satlada, big chokers and our typical trademark jhumkas, which are generous in size. 

Big-ticket bridal jewellery has always been bought as an investment or heirloom. We have observed that since the last five years or so, traditional gold jewellery buyers are now comfortable buying jadau pieces. The reason is simple: disclosures by retailers about the intrinsic value of the jadau pieces in terms of polki quality and carats that help in making informed buying decisions.   

We are not seeing brides compromising on buying jewellery pieces; instead they are saving money by calling fewer guests. Today’s brides are still purchasing heavy, elaborate pieces. Since the weddings are scaled down these days, the disposable budget is being diverted to jewellery.

Rani haar in pacchi setting with polkis and emeralds. By Kishandas & Co.
The dramatic navratna jadau necklace. By Kishandas & Co.

Emeralds & Pearls Favoured

Yash Agarwal, Partner & Creative Director, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers (BGJ), Jaipur: Jadau is one of the most popular types of jewellery worn by Indian women. It is a traditional craft and requires specialised skills that has been passed on through generations. 

We, at  BGJ, love to create unique pieces that bring to the forefront a revival of the lost art of India in terms of designs and ideology. We balance Indian art forms with a modern approach by marrying traditional designs with innovative techniques.

Indians love emeralds and pearls – and jadau set with emeralds create a beautiful contrast when worn against the Indian skin tone. Cocktail rings, lariats and delicate chokers will be the popular choices this year.

Consumers are looking to purchase one good quality piece rather than a variety of small accessories.

A grand jadau necklace from the Rajbari collection with an entourage of stately polki-set elephants is lined with emerald drops. By Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers
Vintage double-drop jadau earrings outfitted with rubies and polkis. By Birdhichand Ghashyamdas Jewellers

Modular Jewellery Gets A Nod

Abhishek Raniwala, Director, Raniwala 1881, Jaipur: A jadau piece is considered a prized possession in any Indian jewellery box, and is often lovingly passed down through generations as an heirloom.

Jaipur-made jadau pieces are traditionally inspired by the heritage motifs of Rajasthan, enhanced with a combination of green and red enamel work and colourful gemstones.

Post-Covid, the wedding season is all about utility over extravagance with versatile and practical pieces that can be worn on the wedding day and beyond. We are witnessing demand for modular jewellery that can be adorned by the bride during the ceremony and as separate pieces with just a nath (nose ornament) and statement earrings. Brides also prefer reversible and detachable jewellery to match the mood and occasion. 

Layering of necklaces is a creative way to add more punch for a glamorous look.

Consumers today are more conscious about their purchases and are choosing quality over quantity. Brides especially are more concerned about what they would like to carry in their trousseau, rather than just focusing on the wedding day jewellery. They are looking at bridal jewellery as a good investment.

Fit for a modern-day princess, the necklace is set with rubies, pearls and polkis. By Raniwala 1881
The grand jadau necklace is patterned with emeralds, pearls and polkis. By Raniwala 1881

Pastel Enamels & Large Polkis Are In Vogue

Sudeep Sethi, Owner, Zevar By Sethis, Indore: While the allure for upholding the classic and traditional style keeps us rooted to our heritage, nothing expresses it better than jadau. The contemporary polki jewellery has become more wearable with a lot of innovation making it much bigger and bolder statement for brides.

Customers prefer enamelled and close-setting sets for weddings, and lighter, open-set options, especially in the earrings category, for party wear. Jadau necklaces with carved emeralds complemented with tourmalines, melon-cut gemstones, or sets enriched with large polkis and pastel shades of meena work. Post the pandemic, brides are opting for statement necklaces – and not a layered look. 

With social media influencing and educating customers, there has been a change in preferences as well. Earlier, jadau was synonymous only with bridal jewellery, but not so anymore. Jadau is finding its niche even in the non-wedding segment, including couture and daily wear. Life is all about celebration!

The floral ear studs decorated with pastel enamelling. By Zevar by Sethis
The soft-hued jadau necklace fringed with emeralds. By Zevar by Sethis

Matha pattis & Statement Rings Favoured

Vaibhav Saraf, Director, Aisshpra Gems & Jewels, Gorakhpur: Jadau jewellery is considered as a prized possession as it is one of the oldest jewellery art forms which is handcrafted without any involvement of modern technology.     Indian brides typically opt for traditional jewellery on their big day, so statement jadau necklaces enhanced with pastel pink and powder blue enamelling, long earrings, and rani haars are a preferred choice. Accessories like matha pattis and big statement rings are the most sought-after accessories.

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