Another kind of Ethnic

8:59 AM

big beads necklace and thread bangles

When you think about ethnic Jewellry in India, chances are the first thing that popped into you mind was 22k gold necklaces and glass bangles.
And sure, this is the most obviously Indian style of Jewellry. The majority of the country has a love affair with gold. Gold is an investment, gold is timeless, gold is a woman's old age insurance...all true to a wide extent (though time have changed and investing in gold shares might be better than investing in bangles).

But, the intricate gold pieces and delicate glass bangles are just not all that there is to India's ethnic Jewellry world.

One of the reason I love shopping when we are in the Himalayas is that there is a whole lot of other jewellery that is far more my style on offer.
Above is my finds while my MIL and I were shopping together in Kassauli : silk thread bangles and a chunky bead necklace. The kind of thing that has little in ways of monetary value but makes as much a statement as a precious metal piece. The kind of piece that is pretty much "me". I wear these funky, bright and colourful necklaces a lot.

If you happen to tour India at one point, do visit trinket shops and ethnic emporiums. In my opinion they have the most interesting ethnic fashion accessories you can find around.

You Might Also Like


  1. Replies
    1. I know! right? I love these big chunky colourful pieces.

  2. Anonymous2:13 PM

    I love those silk thread bangles. So pretty. The thing is it makes a nice collection in a while. Also you lose them don't need to sit and cry for a while lol.

    1. Jewellry needs to be worn and enjoyed, not locked away in a safe in fear someone will steal it, so all these bright and colourful bangles and necklaces are total win. If I loose them it is only the sentimental value I loose, not the monetary one.

  3. Anonymous1:22 PM

    There is a saying in sankskrit "he who posses gold, is a of good family, is a learned, a great orator because all qualities reside in gold". It is considred auspicious and no ceremony is complete without gold. Tiny pieces of gold and silver are used in poojas representing the different elements of nature. How much the bride got is common gossip among ladies in a marriage. The bride's jewellery is analyzed to acertain the real worth of the gold ornaments. There are ladies who can life gold ornaments, to find out their real weight and worth, like living brething gold wieghing machines.

    Then their is the problem of distributing your gold jewellery among children for eg., how much does the DIL gets and how much the daugheter get. There is always room for heart burn. I saw quiet a few spectacular pieces of jewellery with my mother. Heavy and intricate designs. No wonder the love affair with gold continues. Then, there are ladies in jewellery shops looking for a particular design and cut. Men's are often at sea with these things like all other things associated with women.

    Gold is still a safe bet it does not crash like shares. It will give you some return. Even silver is quiet good these days. Shares market is volatile and prone to lot of factors especially in a country like India where nothin is certain. There have been scams in share market. The investment managers give investment advise for those people who have lots of money to spare to diversify their portfolio. At best, very few people have that kind of money to indulge in speculation. Gold in any form physical or bonds is very good investment.


    1. Actually in Jewellry form you loose, it is the least reliable form of Gold investment. Most small jewellers in India are cheaters, as I found out a couple of years ago when I decided to exchange some old gold for new one in Tanishq. Most jewellers will mark their gold as 22k but it is in fact some poor 16-18k allow made with a lot of copper to make it look as yellow as real 22k and often softer and poorer durability than 22k. So you are often paying for so,ething you are not getting unless you go to those big reputed stores like Tanishq to begin with.

      Then, if you sell Jewellry theire is a 10 to 30% of the value that you loose in melting and making charges. Even if you earned extra money due to the market going up, you still never get all that you are owed on your initial investment.

      Last but not least, Jewellry get a sentimental value, it is hard to part with a beautiful piece, especially if memories were made wearing it. And most Indian ladies will tell you they would never part with it, if it has been inherited from a parent or a grandparent it is even more impossible to see it as a financial security. Gold I. Jewellery is NOT an investment. Quite the oposit. Buy gold Jewellry if you like it but it is better to stop kidding oneself about its good investment value.

      Gold is only an investment in bond, share or in coins and bullions bought at the bank and of a certified 24k purity, not otherwise, not in our modern world.

      The reason people in Inia still believe in buying bangles as a financial security is that it once upon a time was so, before other options were available.

      These days you are more likely to be cheated by your unscrupulous family jeweller as many of my relative were when they decided to gift me gold on my wedding day than you are being ripped off by your insurance agent on a life insurance policy or the bank selling you gold bonds.


Blog Archive