11 contemporary Indian jewellery labels that are easy on the eyes and wallet
So you can shine on, this festive season
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages filled with earrings, these are a few of my favourite things.” That’s what the Indian version of My Favourite Things would sound like. Because like Bappi da, we’ve always loved our bling.
Case in point: A necklace excavated from Mohenjodaro that lives in a museum in Delhi. Heck, we even found people wearing gold masks during the ongoing pandemic.
While our ancestors may have been drawn to diamonds the size of the Koh-i-Noor and heavy jadau necklaces and chaand baalis that weigh more than your parents’ expectations, millennial Indians are drawn to a more contemporary aesthetic.
As much as we love dipping into the pool of nani’s heirlooms, when it comes to creating our own collections, we’d rather pick gender fluid jewellery, everyday wearable pieces made using semi-precious metals and stones, and timeless designs that age well. That can also be passed on to our offspring as proof of their parents’ ‘wokeness’.
Luckily, contemporary Indian jewellery labels have popped up all over Instagram to fulfil our needs.
Drawing from the rich heritage of Indian’s craftsmanship culture, these contemporary Indian jewellery labels are creating wearable (and affordable) pieces of art, inspired by nature, mythology and more, so you can wear haathis on your ears, Shiva around your neck and even wrap owls around your wrist.
With the festive season around the corner, we thought this would be the ideal time to add some cheer to this pandemic-laced life, and bling it up with our picks of contemporary Indian jewellery labels that won’t hurt your wallet too much.
Contemporary Indian jewellery labels we love
The curiously named brand, pronounced dukdi, was inspired by founder and sculptor Jinal’s love for insects. Expect to find intricately textured moth- and beetle-inspired pieces that will creep into your heart.
Jinal describes her creations as “metal wearables” and plays with non-precious metals like brass to create her one-of-a-kind pieces, that celebrate duality in all its forms.
In her ode to asymmetry, even a pair of earrings could feature one piece likely slightly different from the other. We’re drawn like moths to a flame, to the adjustable Solus ring and the gorgeous patinated Luna Moth danglers. ₹1,200 onwards
Photo credit: shopmelt.in/Instagram
Handmade Indian jewellery brands that use 92.5 sterling silver and 18K gold, but are affordable enough not to burn a hole in your piggy bank? Sounds as dubious as an email from a Nigerian prince promising you money.
But thanks to stylist Arushi Parakh’s contemporary Indian jewellery brand, Melt, it’s anything but a scam. Her collection features unisex pieces, classics like silver chains and hoops that are versatile enough to play mix and match with, sculptural statement pieces and, if you’re in the mood to get stoned, plenty of gem-encrusted baubles.
We’re starry-eyed seeing the Gold Asteroid Necklace, that combines the texture of lava with the shimmer of gold. ₹1,000 onwards
Photo credit: Theoliostories.com
A coin from 480-420 BC, featuring Greek Goddess Athena turned into the most gorgeous danglers, a reversible pendant with a one paisa coin on side, and turquoise stone on the other, a Shiva pendant featuring the coolest god in the pantheon.
Handcrafted using the ancient lost-wax casting method by artisans in Jaipur, Olio’s 18K gold on brass pieces are rooted in history, but shimmer with a contemporary gleam. Founded by Aashna Singh and Sneha Saksena, the latter even delved into her numismatist grandfather’s collection for their coin treasures series.
Drawing inspiration from historical and mythological figures, Indian traditions and crafts, the label aims at serving up modern heirlooms for the multitasking millennial.
Their Devi collection, inspired by Saraswati, Durga, and Lakshmi is a favourite — reminding us to channel the inner goddesses we were always meant to be. ₹2,500 onwards
Photo credit: devijaipur/Instagram
Candy-coloured gemstones set in handcrafted pieces that have an innately Indian aesthetic but don’t look like you’re wearing your great-grandma’s old costume jewellery pieces.
Devi Jaipur, founded by Devika Arora, is a Jaipur-based contemporary Indian jewellery brand that works with local artisans to create pure silver gem-studded pieces, using techniques like filigree, patwa work and enamelling.
Traditional, yet contemporary enough to pair with your palazzos and crop tops.
Photo credit: Manifestdesign.in
If we put into the universe that we’d love to get our hands one of these sculptural statement cuffs that make us look like modern-day warrior princesses, do you think they’d manifest onto our wrists?
Poor puns aside, sister-brother duo Manreet and Samraat Deol’s vegan jewellery brand, composed of nature and mythology-inspired pieces with an Indian soul, are good for the earth, and your conscience.
According to their website, most of their raw materials are recycled and their craft manufacturing techniques (like sandcasting) are non-polluting. Each piece is handcrafted in the ancient alloy of PanchDhatu, a blend of gold, silver, copper, iron and zinc.
Photo credit: Eurumme.com
Just like the name Eurumme is a portmanteau of the Latin word, ‘Aurum’, meaning gold and founder Eishita’s initial, the brand’s jewellery combines semi-precious stones and metals, to create perfectly imperfect pieces. Pieces that are raw, yet polished, minimalist yet statement-making.
Driven by the philosophy of ‘imperfect is beautiful’, no two pieces are ever the same — from bangles, bracelets, to chokers, collar pins and even armlets, and palm cuffs, their range is filled with radiant jewels that are as unique as they are beautiful. We’re falling in love with the Autumn cuff, as we speak.
P:S: They’ve also launched a range of gender fluid jewellery. ₹1,000 onwards
Photo credit: dhora_india/Instagram
Chunky silver-polished balis with little ghungroo-like embellishments that don’t make your ears feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world on them. Gold and silver-polished metal bangles that go as seamlessly with your sari as they do with your sheath dress.
Dhora’s products are the embodiment of India modern and use Indian karigari traditions to create minimal, wearable pieces. Founder Aavriti Jain is as inspired by the landscapes and traditions of her home state Rajasthan, as she is by the Italian aesthetic (she studied in Milan). Giving us the best of both worlds, with her brass pieces.
The Madhyam chandabalis are our pick for the festive season (yes, we’ll wear them at home, wistfully thinking about all the Diwali parties we could have been binge-eating at).
Photo credit: Mebymegha.com
Ah, so the only travel we’ve been doing these days has been to groceries stores, medical stories and maybe via streaming platforms. Megha Agarwal, founder of ME by MEgha, draws inspiration from the local art and craft from around the world to design her baubles.
Sure, it’s a cheat to actually getting out there and experiencing things for yourself — but if it’s so prettily packaged, and gives us an opportunity to support homegrown talent, why not?
Her range of jewellery is made from brass, and features a gold or silver polish. Grammar nerds, the Inverted Comma hoops have your names all over them, while the leaf-inspired jewels will get you one step closer to your beloved outdoors. ₹1,450 onwards
Photo credit: Onenoughtoneone.com
Sure geometry may have given us nightmares, but when it translates to handcrafted jewellery that looks like its flowing across your earlobes and fingers, it’s a little hard to be frightened of it.
Founded by two design graduates, the brand focuses on creating minimalist metal jewellery that goes effortlessly into the wardrobed of the always multitasking millennial that needs his/ her jewellery to be pretty and thought-provoking at the same time.
We can definitely count on their Geometria collection to add value to any of our Indo-western outfits this, or any festive season. ₹400 onwards
Photo credit: Shophannan.in
A glitter-filled heart, topped with a purple amethyst — a dangler straight from Alice’s Wonderland, that will allow you to live out your fantasy escape during these dark days.
One of our favourite pieces from Hannan’s collection, the Cosmic Love earrings have us yearning for a place to wear them. The brand founded by Bhaavya and Rishi, caught our eyes for their light, floaty, other worldly aesthetic. Little did we know that were in fact inspired by the fantastical — aliens, galaxies, dark humour, parallel universes.
Their range of earrings, charms (which make great additions to any chains and bracelets you already own), necklaces and bracelets are brass-based, and gold-plated. And we’re charmed by every one of them. ₹600 onwards
Photo credit: The-line.in
Fine jewellery has never looked well, this fine. The Line, founded by Natasha Khurana uses 18K gold and precious gemstones like diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies to create their wearable, accessible pieces.
Naturally, the choice of 18K gold, and use of real gemstones means this choice on our list of contemporary Indian jewellery brands will be much heavier on your pocket, but if you’d like to start your own collection, this is a great starter brand.
From their All-heart pearl loops, to their reversible astral necklaces, and Forever & Always bracelet, their range has all the makings of a classic. You still have the vintage pearl earrings you stole from nani, don’t you? Price on request/ ₹15,000 onwards