Polki - Uncut and All Natural

September 9, 2013 - by Nadya

If you've been reading our jewelry series, you've seen the word 'polki' pop up a few times.  For those who aren't well-versed in Indian jewelry, we're here for you.

To start off, here's the super academic description taken from Traditional Jewelry of India by Oppi Untracht:

polki (n.) - an uncut diamond with one flat side and the other cut to a taper or point.  It can be mounted on either side, but usually the shaped (non-flat) side faces up.

Polki diamonds, basically, are a type of uncut, naturally earth-mined diamond.  'Uncut' simply means that these diamonds are not faceted, or shaved to have geometric faces.  Polki diamonds have the same monetary value all over the world and are fairly popular in the diamond market.

They appear often in traditional Jadau and modern Kundan jewelry work.  They suit the rough-edged quality of Jadau because they themselves are uncut and aren't as clear or well-manicured as normal, cut diamonds are. That's not to say they aren't as incredibly pure or valuable as cut diamonds.

Tanishq Punjabi Vivah width=

They've been around for a really long time, but I can't find a specific date when they first started being used.  Ancient (or at least really really old) Indian jewelry, like Jadau, has been using Polki since the beginning, and the Mughals definitely included a bunch of polki diamonds in their jewelry.

Parab-polki meenakar jewarat, or enameled jewelry (Meenakari) made with parab-cut or polki diamonds, is a Jaipuri term used to designate Mughal-Rajput gold jewelry.  This jewelry is decorated with Jaipuri diamonds and enamel.  Most Polki jewelry today tends to have enameling on the back, usually pink or red lotuses.

Polki - Meenakari backing

 

'Polki,' when used colloquially, actually refers to a whole range of uncut diamonds.  Villandi (or Bullandi) diamonds tend to be called Polki as they also appear in Jadau and Kundan jewelry.  Unlike Polki, which are not shaped, Villandi diamonds have a Mughal cut, or the flat upper pavilion that slopes into a multi-faceted setting.

The bit below the setting is irregularly faceted into a vertex.  These stones are often removed from Indian jewelry to be cut into Western diamond shapes.  This ends up increasing the value of the diamond.

Photos courtesy of Nash Creations, Tanishq JewelryOnly Gray Matter Matters

Sources: Traditional Jewelry of India by Oppi Untracht

 

Related posts

Beauty Gifts Moodboard

12 Beauty Gifts for the Holiday Season

12 Festive-themed Beauty Gifts

CherryTinReview

Gifts with a Cherry on Top!

As a child, the concept of Valentine's Day represented the innocent exchange of character-themed cards and the over- consumption of candy conversation hearts. Growing up, [...]

Pastelsl Image

5 Quick Tips for Summer Wedding Clothes Inspiration

Indian weddings are bright, colorful and elegant. Meera Patel, cofounder of Devi's Closet, a high-end rental boutique, brings you five quick tips on [...]

sweet-and-sunny-hindu-wedding-in-minnesota-78

Priyanka & Steven's Sweet and Sunny Hindu Wedding {Minnesota}

Good day, our loyal readers! We have such a cheerful, fun wedding for you today. Priyanka and Steven's sweet and sunny traditional Hindu wedding in Minnesota was a celebration of [...]

Dinesh-Karthik-Dipika-Pallikal-celebrity-wedding-Rakesh-Prakash-Photography10

Dinesh Karthik & Dipika Pallikal's Match Made in Heaven Celeb Cricket-Squash Wedding

Cricketer Dinesh Karthik and squash star Dipika Pallikal tied the knot in a Telugu Hindu ceremony in Chennai (Madras), India. They had a private wedding with family and close [...]

star-studded-luxurious-indian-wedding-india-1

Akash and Bhavna's Star-Studded Luxurious Indian Wedding {India}

Good day to you lovely readers! Are you ready for the star-studded Indian Wedding we have on tap for you today? This one is straight from India and so completely [...]