Antique treasures unlock the secrets of precious jewels

Deepika Padukone's jewels from Bajirao Mastani
Deepika Padukone’s jewels from Bajirao Mastani by Shri Hari Diagems

The walled city is one the few ancient business capitals of the world, and till today its home to some of the oldest shops. Miss Junebug discovered Shri Hari Diagems (from the House of Shri Ram Hari Ram) Located at their Flagship store in Green Park and a branch in Khan Market which was established 1789; and, we couldn’t help but explore the world of precious antiques and ornamental jewellery that this jewellery store has to offer.

Jewellery designs by Tarun Tahiliani in association with Shri Hari Diagems
Jewellery designs by Tarun Tahiliani in association with Shri Hari Diagems

This reputed jewellery brand deals in old Mughal jewels and high end pieces that have been auctioned at Sotheby’s and other avenues. “We are dealing in arty and unique jewellery from past two centuries,” informs Vinay Gupta of the Shri Hari Diagems, who co-owns the jewellery house with Anirudh Gupta. The jewellers recently did a spectacular show with Indian designer Tarun Tahiliani’s bridal collection and also crafted some interesting jewellery for many Bollywood divas including the gorgeous ornaments for Deepika Padukone for Bajirao Mastani.
The jewellery house deals in a wide range of spectacular antique/modern jewellery and kundan pieces for the modern bride. Vijay Gupta says, “The antique heritage artwork range has pieces that are of hallmark quality, characterized by hand-picked gems, masterly technique and is a reminiscent of the royal lineage of the Maharajahs. Since six generations we have been designing sophisticated and rare jewellery. We are also known for our antique jewellery, which is rare and is truly idiosyncratic.”
Speaking about the heritage jewellery and some of the most rare pieces that have been crafted for the royal families of India, the founders reveals, “We have a lot of old heritage pieces from the Mughal era – a necklace with old rubies “Lal ladhi” string with rose cut diamonds and back of the piece old enamel know as desi mina (a
real minakari technique that is almost extinct in current times). We also have a piece from the state of Kashi (Benaras) know as “banarsi adha”, which includes fantastic workmanship Basra pearls and uncut diamonds. In 1789, our family was the treasurer of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, and our family owned multiple properties that were later confiscated by the British. At the time our family was known as the Fatehchands, and since then we have been preserving our heritage. We have many antiques in our stores that we are proud to inherit from our forefathers.”

Nimrat Kaur at her sisters wedding in jewellery by Shri Hari Diagems
Nimrat Kaur at her sisters wedding in jewellery by Shri Hari Diagems

They add, “Our jewelry is an art form has a lot of depth and soul, each piece is like a painting that is a master piece in its own. We are looking at all the handwork techniques and trying to revive the arts and crafts from Northern region of India. We have started using the art of Bikanari and polki in our ornaments that are now one of the biggest jewellery trends. We are majorly into earrings, chand balas and ornaments that are not so expensive and can be worn at weddings and festive occasions.” When it comes to antique jewellery, the market is very niche and the pieces are all about intricate workmanship which is judged by seasoned collectors. Elaborating more on this specialized segment, Vinay mentions, “The market is huge and there are a lot of people who want to buy pieces that they can preserve for generations. What we create is heirloom and people do not want to part with it so sometimes the
value is just priceless. When looking for antiques everyone wants to own a piece of history, and the starting ranges for such pieces are from five to six lakh rupees that can go upto priceless depending on the aesthetic and emotional value of the jewellery.”


~ JB

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