Pachchikam Jewelry - Pretty and Prudent

August 31, 2013 - by Nadya

Perhaps the biggest comeback story in traditional Indian jewelry, Pachchikam, whose origins are unknown, is inspiring jewelry makers today.  There is evidence of European nobility wearing Pachchikam  jewelry in the 16th century, and nowadays Pachchikam, with its distinctive silver sheen, is worn by people of all classes in South Asia.

FASHION-INDIA-JEWELLERY-ENTERTAINMENT width=

  • Who: Pachchikam jewelry
  • What: A jewelry style that is characterized by a silver base.  It is often rough looking but delicate when handled.
  • When: Unknown, possibly pre-16th century
  • Where: The original place is unknown, though it seems to be Western.  Currently families in Gujurat today maintain the craftwork.
  • Process: Uncut semiprecious and glass stones are inserted into a silver case and sealed in.

Originally Pachchikam came from somewhere in Europe.  The style made its way to India where craftspeople there began to inject their own ethnic style into the pieces.  This comes out in the way the base is pressed over the gems, making the Pachchikam pieces seem rough in comparison to high-end European jewelry.  Pieces today thus seem to be a marriage of two styles, Western and Eastern.

IIJW Delhi 2013 - Models walking for Gitanjali 6 width=

Since Pachchikam has a silver base rather than a gold one, Pachchikam pieces tend to be more affordable.  They're also much flashier and more delicate than Kundan or other traditional jewelry styles and are generally worn to special occasions.

Despite being cheaper than most other fine Indian jewelry, Pachchikam pieces cannot be mass produced and one item may take months to complete.  The major emphasis is in quality, when it comes to this jewelry style.

IIJW 2013- Laxmi Jewellery Exports 7 width=

Pachchikam jewelry makers tend to be very conservative about their craft and will not often divulge information about their methods to outsiders.  All knowledge of the Pachchikam production is handed down father to son.  They also rarely deviate from set traditional forms and motifs, so most Pachchikam pieces look and feel like their ancient predecessors.

But because Pachchikam jewelry makers are so guarded, the overall growth of the Pachchikam jewelry industry is being checked. In response modern jewelry houses in India, including Art Karat and Niru's Jewelry, are producing pieces themselves that are highly influenced by the Pachchikam style, though no longer relying on the few skilled Gujurati craftsmen, to meet the resurgence in demand.

 

Sources: India Profile and Daagina

Photos courtesy of Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers, Gitanjali, and Laxmi Jewellry Exports

 

 

 

 

 

Related posts

pretty-punjabi-wedding-bluemartini-photos-03

A Pink & Blue Outdoor Punjabi Wedding {Ohio}

Recca and Nishant had a beautiful Punjabi wedding on a sweet summer day. The ceremony itself was outside in the grassy boulevard area of the hotel then the reception and cocktail [...]

matrimonial website

Deciphering Matrimonial Ads - A Glossary

The Sunday newspapers are perfect when having a cup or two of chai, parathas, and lots to read. It is also the day of the week when matrimonial ads are displayed and the stress [...]

Peda Recipe Final 1

The Essential Guide to CKP Weddings: Engagement Rituals

CKP weddings were traditionally arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, who agreed upon the marriage mutually. Like many Hindu marriages today, this tradition has [...]

ValentinesAccessories

A Rose By Any Other Name: 10 Pink and Red Accessories for Valentines Day

Valentines Day is just around the corner, and it's the perfect occasion to add some classic red and pink accessories to your outfit! Here are some recommendations for pink and red scarves, jewelry, shoes, and bags.

Mumbai Sikh Wedding 17

Sumisha & Aman's Gorgeous Sikh Mumbai Wedding

I always get excited when we get to feature a wedding from my Indian hometown of Mumbai. Today we have Sumisha and Aman's Sikh wedding and reception as well as their amazingly [...]

bridal brunch

Bridal Brunch 2016 - Wine Country Edition

Lovelies, it's been a long long time since I've been around. Lots to share, but that's for another post. Right now I want to share with you that I'll be speaking at the Bridal [...]