Make that Jadau (Kundan & Polki) shine forever
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
So, you've got that royal piece of Jewelry that you completely adore, good enough for a queen to don it at that gala dinner, or for Tulsi, Parvati before they head to bed.
But, you don't know, like many others how to protect that piece of art, cause unlike any regular gold or diamond jewelry, this is a complex form of art if i may call it.
The whole process of this Jadau Jewellery started centuries ago probably, and before i can explain how to protect it, I feel you should know what makes it harder to care for Kundan and Polki Jewellery. So let's begin by knowing what's in that piece of Jewelry.
Any piece of kundan/polki jewellery is made of 4 layers usually.
18/22k Gold, that makes up the entire body of the jewellery.
Polki or Glass that is the glossy surface that you reflects off the light.
24k gold or Kundan, that holds the Polki/ Glass, in its place. Its the border around the Polki or glass.
Silver. Yes there's a Silver foil under the Polki / glass surface. It gives that mirror reflection to the Jewellery.
So what really needs protection?
If you own a piece of any Silver jewellery, or ornament, you would know that it turns black.
Silver reacts with water, moisture, chemicals, cosmetics to name the most common items , to oxidize and tarnish.
It turns black, and needs re polishing and cleaning to get that shine back.
24k Gold or pure gold, is soft and pure, and also turn red when it reacts with some of these elements.
So, it boils down to protecting, and caring for these two elements of your jewelry.
Cleaning & Polishing is easy, so why really take special care?
Yes, and No. Well cleaning and re polishing is easy for silver ornament and jewelry, because there is direct contact with the tarnished surface.
As you can see in Kundan & Polki, the silver is not accessible, if that silver tarnishes, the Kundan lining has to be removed then, the glass/Polki, and then the silver can be cleaned, or in some cases replaced.
This could be expensive, as it requires more labor, and sometimes the Polki could break during the replacement.
It can cost upto Rs. 30,000 for changing the tarnished silver in a set. Depending on how big or small it is, and if it Kundan (glass) or Polki Jadau setting.
Now that you understand the anatomy, here's the care routine-
Care Routine Part 1 (Prevention) -
Prevent any sprays like air freshener, perfumes, or insect killers to come in contact with your jewelry. Trust me, we learned this the hard way in our own shop.
Avoid keeping your jewelry in the velvet, and suede, or any kind of fancy Jewelry boxes, that your Jeweler gives you. It's fine for a few hours, if your'e gifting it or taking it home in that, but not for storage. The chemical used to glue the velvet, and something else we cant figure out, is fresh in a new box, and damages the jewelry.
Cotton. Even cotton has some tarnishing effect. Many people use it for padding the jewelry, which can be avoided.
Care Routine Part 2 (Habits) -
Avoid washing hands wearing Jadau Jewelry.
Avoid using cosmetics after putting on the Jewelry. So if its your special day, put on that Jadau Jewelry only after you are done with the hair makeup and even after you've sprayed your perfume.
Use a plastic air tight container, with a tissue paper to wrap up the jewelry. It draws out any moisture and a simple air tight box has nothing that would cause any reaction. Never use cotton, only a simple tissue paper will do. For extra precaution, you can wrap it in plastic bags first before putting it in the box.
Use Silica Gel. It is an excellent way to draw out any extra moisture, and if the jewelry has been accidentally soaked, its a good way to draw out the water. There are boxes of silica gel in the market, that can be kept in the cupboard or room, to draw out moisture in the air.
Eraser, is a magic tool, to clean your Jadau Jewelry. If the Silver has tarnished, that needs professional help, but any sort of Kundan reddening or tarnishing can be removed to quite some extent with a simple eraser.
How we store our Jewelry in the store is take a thick paper and line it soft parchment paper type material, and then make a envelope according to the piece of jewelry. That works for us, and if its something big like a Choker, we put in a plastic box lined with cloth. We thrown in lots of silica gel bags and but boxes of it too around our jadau storage.
For cleaning, use a soft clean cloth, or a suede cloth. Suede cloth is best to get the Polki shining, and the kudan and gold cleans up well too. Its not abrasive.
Never try to clean your jewelry with water or any chemical or spray. If you think its beyond your capability to repair something, take it to a jeweler. It might be cheaper if they fix it.
So that is everything I could muster up for kundan and polki care. You could always visit our website page for more detailed description.
Do check out our collection too.
Hope this helps you maintain your jewelry's shine for as long as you have it.
Here's a sneak peak into our next topic which is about types of Polki Jewelry and Kundan Jewelry setting.
This is the modern form of manufacturing, as there is no lac(wax) or any kind of filling at the back of the jewelry, which traditionally used to be there.
Basically this setting doesn't have a base on the back, and you could see a basket that holds the silver foil.
It usually doesn't have kundan holding the Polki in place.
Its used for most forms of fusion Polki Jewelry designs.
This is a traditionally made Kundan Chand Bali, in closed or band setting.
The back is usually completely flat with gold layer, and mostly has some meenakari work on the back.