Jewelry appraisal is a trade of expertise rooted in the most quantifiable, objective considerations – “What does the state of the piece and its gems suggest about the overall market value of and demand for it?” That doesn’t mean AZ Jewelry Appraisal doesn’t indulge a fascination with the more subjective nature of modern trends in fine jewelry.
The finest jewelry of the moment exhibits bold and colorful styling hailing from Eastern traditions dating back centuries, as far back as a time when families believed that gems harnessed and balanced planetary energy to bestow health, prosperity and personal peace upon the wearer. Even then, jewelry was as much an investment in oneself as simple haute couture. Even hundreds of years ago, the nine gems (“navratna”) symbolized the sun, six planets and the the eclipse’s solar and lunar phases in the rainbow’s spectrum: ruby, coral, pearl, emerald, diamond, hessonite, cat’s eye, and yellow and blue sapphires.
- JEWELRY APPRAISAL AND A STYLISTIC 180
In particular, it’s the one-of-a-kind striking trademarks of Indian jewelry that have enraptured the London and New York fashion stages of late with handcrafted modern jewelry hearkening to highly decorative 16th-century Mogul Empire showpieces bedecked with pear-shaped emeralds and pink spinels exhibiting impressive carving befitting the most elegant and opulent of Maharajas. These gems traditionally were mounted with intricate “kundan” encasing using traditional resin to hold cabochons in place within well-refined gold leaf framings.
It was the very same “color burst” effect of these designs’ diamond-”uplit”, non-faceted emeralds, rubies and sapphires that captivated kings of old which has now fascinated modern jewelry appraisal professionals and buyers in kind. Whereas combining blue stones with green was once an affront to Western style, Indian style’s explosion of shared interest across the ocean results in a proud adoption of the then-audacious traditions and sensibilities in circa the 1920s.
The worldwide jewelry appraisal community has watched Bulgari and Cartier’s respective launches of high jewelry collections marked by the Indu “Tutti Frutti” style of colorful, carved gems in contemporary imaginative and stunning shapes with great intrigue. Hard to believe, in one sense, that British Vogue once dismissed just this style as “barbarian” as recently as the 1930s. Then again, present Bulgari creative director Lucia Silvestri honed his own craft under frequent guest of India Giorgio Bulgari and adopted his mentor’s lofty regard for Indian brokers as some of the world’s finest businessmen when dealing in gems.
Jewelry appraisal tends to agree that the bolder Indian styles favored a creative sense of color that has grown more popular with a strengthened Western confidence in wearing combinations of intensely colored gems with rich hues – much the way Indian jewelers have embraced traditional European full-cut diamonds and pavé settings.
Consider it an extension of the widespread Western love affair with the East’s cultural staples of yoga, meditation, and strength through spiritualism and the way combining these unique and exotic traditions cultivates very personal and meaningful individual lifestyles.
Jewelry appraisers the world over agree: the once-outrageous rich vibrancy of Eastern traditions has arrived at a point in time when the West is ready to welcome a style that is deeply personal, inherently spiritual, and brimming with uncommonly soulful aplomb and confidence.