Antique gold jewellery has always been popular in India. Jewellery stores across the nation tend to stock it. However, very few stores can actually source authentic designs -- the kind that have been used for generations by temple dancers. These jewellery designs are often found in the exquisite sculptures of gods and goddesses that are etched on temple pillars. Popular and well-known stores for antique jewellery stock these throughout the year, as the traditional designs are a great favourite with Indian women.
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A well-known destination for antique jewellery, Amrapali started out in 1978. Its antique range has since been sported by celebrities across the world. Based in Jaipur, the jewellery store is the brainchild of Rajesh Ajmera and Rajiv Arora. They travelled across India extensively, studying design and ancient craftsmanship of traditional jewellery. You'll find their antique jewellery dressy and heavily studded with gems (while still sporting clean lines and a contemporary look), definitely meant for formal occasions.
Based in South India, Prince Jewelers uses unpolished, uncut rubies, emeralds and corals to recreate authentic temple designs for their gold jewellery. They won an international award in 2004 for best design for creating a masterpiece from 18-karat white gold, in a contest judged by experts that included representatives from Christie's. On display in the antique jewellery range are chokers, bangles, bracelets and earrings. Prince Jewelry is renowned for giving these antique pieces a contemporary look. It has a range of lightweight jewellery that allows you to wear antique pieces without feeling bogged down.
Vummidi Bangaru Jewelers
Vummidi Bangaru Jewelers is among South India's leading jewellery stores, and it was one of the first Indian jewellers to use International Gemological Institute (IGI) certified diamonds in all of their jewellery. It uses typical traditional Indian motifs in its antique jewellery -- the peacock, the mango, jewelled figures of gods and goddesses according to Hindu mythology. All these are either etched into gold or set in gemstones. The company also crafts jewellery for those who practice Bharathanatiyam (a classical Indian dance form) since these dancers always wear antique jewellery with their costumes.
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- Vummidi: Temple Jewelry
- Prince Jewelry; 3 Nana Street, T.Nagar; Chennai; Tamil Nadu; India 600 017; 011-91-44-4228-9800
- Amrapali Jewels; Panch Batti, M.I. Road; Jaipur; India 302 001; 011-91-141-237-7940
- Vummidi Bangaru Jewelers; 603 Anna Salai; Chennai; Tamil Nadu; India 600 006; 011-91-44-2829-2003