Since time immemorial different types of jewelry have been adorned by royal families. Following this culture, several people have taken interest in wearing jewelry matching their outfits.
Jewelry is worn for various reasons. It is commonly referred to as ornaments to be worn either attaching to the different parts of the body or the outfits. There are various types of metals used to make a number of types of jewelry for specific occasions. With the increased activity on social media and pictures posted there, everyone wants to look elegant from top to bottom. There is a high demand for looking perfect owing to the different types of jewelry available for different occasions such as casual parties, weddings, etc. People of both gender wear jewelry based on their culture. However, among the two, women are the most consistent ones interested in adorning jewelry, regardless of age and culture. While producing it, mass jewelry designers and jewelry makers keep in mind the demand and produce different kinds accordingly.
Considering the types of jewelry available on the basis of attaching to the different body parts and also, on the basis of jewelry materials and occasions, there are broadly two categories as mentioned below.
1. Types of Jewelry on the basis of body parts
Under this category, the jewelry types are listed on the basis of where to wear the jewelry and which body part is to be adorned by which type of jewelry.
An earring is a piece of jewelry worn to adorn the ears. Earrings are generally put on by piercing the earlobe, although piercing can be done in any part of the ear. If the piercing is on the upper part of the external ear, it is called cartilage piercing. An individual can wear more than one or two earrings in the ear. There are a variety of designs for the earring to wear on the earlobe since it is the lowermost part of the ear one can wear big hoops, long dangling, and drop earrings. For the upper part earring, one can wear different kinds of studs. These earrings are also made of a variety of materials like steel, glass, silver, gold, etc.
Women wear the necklace as jewelry to adorn the neck. Wearing necklaces have been considered a status symbol for decades ago. This jewelry is made using precious stones and metals. Necklaces generally come in the shape of a band or a chain. There are varieties of designs in necklace pieces like western designs, ethnic designs, etc. sometimes there is something suspended from the chain like a locket, pendant, chain, or stone.
Bracelets admire the wrist of a person as it is a piece of jewelry to be worn on the wrist. It comes in a variety of designs whereas the shape is mostly round or oval as regards the common shape of an individual’s wrist. However, based on the function one can choose to wear bracelets. One can wear bracelets according to personal preferences as it is a fashion accessory with sparkling and colorful charms. Bracelets are mostly in the shape of chains or made with beads and stones, although they are different than bangles but sometimes with a single, inflexible loop, a bracelet is considered a bangle. Often it can be worn on the ankles and then it’s called an anklet.
While generally there are buttons to secure the cuffs of a shirt it is cuff links that beautifies the cuffs of a shirt. From glass, stone to leather, etc. There are different materials used for making cufflinks. One can use cuff links specifically for shirts with button holes on their cuffs.
Rings are worn on fingers and so it is also called finger rings. A ring is usually a round band that adorns the finger, nose, toes, etc. Although there is a wide range of rings like bracelets, earrings, neck rings, toe rings, etc. only a hand ring is considered a ring, made from different materials like gold, silver, platinum, etc.
However, the above-mentioned jewelry is the most common type of pieces of jewelry that are usually available and can be seen being worn on a regular basis by several people. But other than the above-mentioned types of pieces of jewelry there are other many pieces of jewelry based to be worn on different body parts and those include armlets, waist-belt, nose-ring, broach, etc.
2. On the basis of different Jewelry Design
While we speak of the types of jewelry, the designs play an important role and under this category, the jewelry types have been listed on the basis of the designs and materials and as they are commonly known in the jewelry market.
This kind of jewelry is also commonly known as ‘vintage jewelry’ and these two terms are used interchangeably. However, antique and vintage jewelry is not the same and there is a difference in the time period. antique jewelry is considered to be a hundred years old or more whereas a piece of vintage jewelry is nearly at least fifty years old. These jewelry designs are classic and are never ‘out of fashion. This jewelry is not worn on a regular basis and only occasionally because they are valuable and suitable only with the classy outfit and look. Also, not many people have access to vintage and antique jewelry because it is not easy to come by. Hence such jewelry is expensive. a piece of antique jewelry is sold on the basis of the actual weight of the precious metal it is made of and/or the gemstones it is studded with.
Temple jewelry is mainly worn by Bharatnatyam dancers. This jewelry is inspired by the type of ornaments used to adorn the Hindu gods and goddess idols in South India. Usually, Temple jewelry is made of silver and then turned into gold plated. Often temple pieces of jewelry are created using the materials such as rubies, white sapphires, and pearls. There are types of temple jewelry- simple necklaces, bangles, earrings, and nose pins. From odiyanums (waist belts) to vankis (armbands) there are a number of temple pieces of jewelry including the ornaments for the hair.
Bead jewelry is mainly considered as a piece of jewelry made of different types of designed beads which is a small decorative object. Beads are worn in strands, with the holes pierced in them, the beads are joined with strings or chains and thus formed. Beads are available in a wide variety of materials from pearls, glass, and wood to metals such as gold, silver, copper, etc.
As the name suggests, this jewelry is worn by the brides at their weddings. While most other parts of the world prefer simple platinum and diamond pendants and earring sets to be worn at their weddings, Indian weddings have brides wearing royal and big pieces of jewelry on their big day. The bridal jewelry market in India sees a huge profit during the wedding season (November – March), being the cool and dry weather conditions.
From head to toe, brides are wrapped in jewelry as they are adorned with 16 adornment items commonly known as solah shringar which would include maang tika referred to as forehead jewelry, armlet, necklace, earring, anklet, finger rings, bangles, waist belt, nose pin, toe rings, etc.
Considering that weddings are the most common occasion in the world, there will be a never-ending demand for bridal jewelry. This is one of the types of fine jewelry for which expert workmanship is required, thus the jewelry job in this sector is comparatively higher than any other jewelry specialties.
Fashion jewelry is commonly worn with a trendy fashionable outfit and they are generally available at cheap prices for wearing on a regular basis with different clothes. Also known as costume jewelry, it is mostly junk jewelry for the material it is made of. It looks very fashionable without costing much because it is made from using cheap metals such as nickel and pewtar. The demand for fashion jewelry is the most in the market and hence this is one sector where one can find jewelry jobs for making easily available fashion jewelry.
When we speak of jewelry, the list is absolutely incomplete without mentioning handmade jewelry as there are several craftsmen who make jewelry using their skills and their hands. Goldsmiths are experts in operating the step-by-step jewelry-making process from melting the material, to designing and forming, and also there is a stone setter who completes the design by including gemstones in the jewelry. It needs many steps of good workmanship and is often a time-consuming task that requires special tools to be used manually for making a handmade unique jewelry design. The beauty of handmade jewelry lies in the fine detail and intricate workmanship of each piece. There are lots of opportunities in this type of jewelry making for goldsmiths and other jewelry makers who are seeking jewelry jobs.
In the Sanskrit language, Kundan means “pure gold”. Kundan jewelry refers to a variety of setting gems as it usually includes uncut diamonds using 24-carat gold foil. In Kundan jewelry designs, the purpose of 24k gold foil is to hold the stone.
In Kundan jewelry settings there are other gems commonly used are emeralds, rubies, sapphires, spinels, and pearls. Modern Kundan pieces also include semi-precious stones such as tourmalines, onyx, and turquoise. Although available in various parts of India, the pink city of Jaipur is the most popular destination for buying such jewelry. For the labor work and material availability and utilization of rarely accessible and expensive stones, Kundan jewelry is considered to be an expensive and luxurious jewelry type.
Minakari jewelry is thought to be the most royal type of jewelry considering its historic and unique design. Making this jewelry is considered to be a form of pure art made of enameling metal using vibrant colors and attractive design. Minakari word is derived from the Persian word mina which means heaven.
The craftsman of minakari jewelry is commonly known as the minakar. The process of making this jewelry is similar to any handmade jewelry, however, a minakar is specialized in such design and artworks. However, minakari jewelry is colorful, they have their own distinct style and color in respect to the various Indian cities. For example, In Lucknow, the dominant minakari color is green and blue which are enameled on silver, and in Varanasi, the common color of minakari is a dusky pink or ‘old rose’.
All these types of jewelry pieces are made with different processes and require workmanship on the basis of specialties. Often experiences make a difference in the jewelry jobs, for example, a jewelry store specializing in manufacturing bridal jewelry will want an expert goldsmith who is specialized and experienced in making bridal jewelry. However, there are a lot of options and opportunities available in the jewelry-making industry for interested people.
Here is an interesting read for those who want to take up the creative art of jewelry making and designing as their career.