A woman never forgets her first—the gold band that was her first-ever fine jewellery buy, that Basra pearl cuff that kicked off her trousseau shopping expedition, the solitaire studs to mark her first anniversary or the polki ring to celebrate her first promotion. Jewellery, there is no denying, is a woman’s most cherished love story. She spends years perfecting a well-honed collection of time-honoured favourites, just like her mother and grandmother did before her. But once the classics have been conquered and the long-run investments added to the safe, it’s time to layer your personal jewellery collection with an army of new-age heroes that strike that balance between timeless and trendy. Not sure where to begin? We bring you intel straight from the source.
The colour: Pistachio
Sunita Shekhawat, CEO and designer of Sunita Shekhawat – Jaipur, tells us how emeralds are best complemented by macaroon-ready pistachio-toned enamelling.
Re-focus: “The modern collector is a connoisseur of art and travel. Their preference is for handcrafted artistic pieces that are one-of-a-kind, limited in quantity and can become a part of their family’s legacy, making pista a natural fit.”
Colour story: “It’s a happy and auspicious pastel tone that complements the overall colour story favoured in India. We play with different pistachio tones with our enamelling technique, and pair it with rubies, emeralds, natural coloured stones and uncut diamonds to enhance its appeal.”
‘Vanya’ emerald and pearl earrings set in 22k gold, Sunita Shekhawat – Jaipur
Perfect pairings: “Contemporary designs make it easy to dress pista-coloured jewellery up or down. Pistachio and polki studs can be worn with a white shirt, a chikankari kurta and a Benarasi weave alike. A pista-coloured choker with polki, South Sea pearls and natural coloured stones with matching jhumkis and maang tikka is the perfect contrast to bridal red.”
New appeal: “When looking for long-term investments, think chandbalis, a choker and a saatlara.”
‘Tribute’ stackable diamond rings, Forevermark
Diamonds are forever, and Federica Imperiali, head of new product development at Forevermark, concurs. But the new twist to this sweetheart stone is using it as an extension of one’s personality. “Today’s women want to highlight their personalities with their diamonds, so the focus now is on unexpected mixing of materials and silhouettes, such as enamel and natural rough materials combined with gold and diamonds,” says Imperiali.
Multi-layered diamond chain necklace, Forevermark
While the mindset is modern, the preferences have an old-school bent, as can be witnessed in the comeback of the bezel setting that goes as far back as the Middle Ages. “This setting has a metal rim surrounding the diamond by the girdle to secure it in place, almost like a frame holding a painting. It also creates the illusion of a larger stone, maximising the impact with its minimal design. The classic engagement ring is getting particularly popular in India.”
Emerald, green enamel and bezel-set diamond cuff, Forevermark
Vietnamese golden pearls, diamonds and keshi pearls set in 18k gold chandbalis, Moksh – Fine Unseen Jewels
Pearls are everywhere this summer. In your hair, on your neck, lining your laid-back denims and even decorating your summer sandals. Founder and CEO of Moksh – Fine Unseen Jewels, Milan Chokshi makes a strong case for a pearl jewellery redux, featuring keshi pearls. Rest assured, your grandmother will approve.
Why are keshi pearls an investment?
“Keshi pearls are pure nacre—there is nothing to stop the refl ection of light—making them extraordinarily lustrous. Known as the ‘gifts of the mermaids,’ they were worn for centuries by Arabian princesses. The word ‘keshi’ is Japanese for poppy seed, hence the nickname ‘poppy seed pearl’. As they are formed without a nucleus, their shapes tend to be more Baroque. Collecting jewellery today is much like collecting art. It’s symbolic of one’s lifestyle and personality. There is also a desire for pieces that may not be available in the future due to the fi nite availability of stones or a shortage of skilled craftsmen. We are mindful of both, which makes our pearls forward thinking investments.”
Keshi pearl bangle handcrafted in 18k gold, Moksh – Fine Unseen Jewels
What’s new with the pearl?
“We play with a mix of uniquely shaped pearls, uneven keshi pearls, button pearls and cultured pearls in designs that are never repeated. It takes an average of 10-12 weeks to create one piece. Our Taantvi collection uses an intricate technique of weaving small Japanese keshi pearls to create a mesh-like effect. Paired with gemstones, they can go from everyday occasions to bridal soirées.”
Pro tip: “Shop for layer-friendly pieces that can be worn from day to night. Stackable rings and multi-sets that can be broken down into necklaces of varying lengths are winners,” says Imperiali.
Collector’s edition: Moksh’s jewellery consultant, Rajvi Chokshi, recommends micro pearls in natural shapes paired with coloured gemstones, and investing in the label’s signature lariats. The necklace includes a variety of pearls mixed with baguette, rose-cut and mixed-shape diamonds. “Their versatility makes them a destination-wedding favourite.”