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Difference Between Polki and Kundan

Polki and Kundan are native Indian traditional or bridal jewelries that signify royalty. These jewelries go through the same manufacturing process and so to many people they seem as though they are the same. This article unfolds the distinctions between Polki and Kundan. In a nutshell, Polki is made of uncut diamonds whereas Kundan is made of glass stones (could be glass polka). 


What is Polki?

Polki is a popular bridal jewelry characterized by a shiny appearance than Kundan. It is made of uncut/unfinished diamonds that is slightly polished without any further lab or chemical treatments or craftsmanship. For this reason, Polki is more expensive than Kundan and other families use it as heirlooms. But it is less expensive than the diamond and as thus many people who cannot afford to have diamond opt for the Polki jewelry. 

Polki is highly valued and on high demand in Indian culture. This type of jewelry was introduced by Moghuls in India. When making Polki, its precious diamond stones are set on a 24 carat gold using lac and fine gold foils. These gold foils have been painted to place the diamond on them. This inclusion of diamonds and 24 carat of gold make Polki an expensive jewelry compared to Kundan.  


What is Kundan?

Kundan is also a traditional Indian jewelry that is often confused with Polki. While the process of making it seem similar to Polki, the jewelries are different with Kundan made of glass stones and thus less expensive than Polki. The art of this jewelry evolves from the Mughal era in India. Kundan requires a great deal of craftsmanship unlike Polki which is made of the uncut diamonds. 

The composition of Kundan can vary from glass stones, sapphires, rubies to emeralds. Nonetheless, none of these compositions can match the shininess of the uncut diamond in Polki. Kundan is famously known as the Rajasthan kind of jewelry in India. When making Kundan, the 24 carat of gold is made into strips of a desired shape to form a base. Thereafter, whichever chosen stone will be set using heat into the base to form Kundan. Because Kundan is predominantly made of stones, it does not have much of the gold content, but it is considered to have the purest gold hence it is sought after.

A discerning eye can detect the differences in appearance between Kundan and Polki. For instance, Kundan is highly polished and as thus reflects light more intensely than Polki does. It is an elaborate jewelry with layers on layers of stones and metals. 

Both Polki and Kundan are made under the process named Jadau. The jewelries are popular and weddings are considered incomplete if the jewelries are not worn. 


Key Differences Between Kundan and Polki


Kundan is a traditional and bridal Indian jewelry composed of precious stones. It is highly polished and reflects light more than Polki. Polki, on the other hand, is a traditional Indian jewelry composed of the uncut diamonds.


Both jewelries are made in the process of Jadau. A 24 carat gold is used as the base to make these jewelries. Although the technique seems similar, the end product is different. Polki requires no further craftsmanship or lab treatment whereas Kundan requires a premium finish.


Because Polki is made of uncut diamond in addition to the 24 carat gold foils, it is more expensive than Kundan but less expensive than pure diamond jewelries. Polki serves as the replacement for the expensive diamond pieces in weddings. 

Kundan Vs.  Polki: Comparison Table 


Summary of Kundan Vs. Polki

  • Polki jewelry is made of uncut natural diamonds extracted from earth. It is slightly polished but has no chemical or lab treatments
  • Kundan is made of a variety of stones. Can also be made of glass Polki which gives it more value and make it relatively expensive although less expensive than the real Polki
  • Both Polki and Kundan are made in a process of Jadau
  • 24 carat of gold foil is used as a base in Polki to lay the diamonds
  • Gold strips are set in the stones of Kundan
  • Polki appears more shinier than Kundan
  • Kundan is more polished and reflects sunlight than Polki
  • Kundan is considered to have a high refine of gold although not in high content

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/es/collar-india-joyer%C3%ADa-oro-de-lujo-390382/

[1]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/Indian_Jewelry_from_19th_Century_-_Indian_Jewelry_from_18th_Century_-_Schaezlerpalais_-_Augsburg_-_Germany_-_06.jpg/640px-Indian_Jewelry_from_19th_Century_-_Indian_Jewelry_from_18th_Century_-_Schaezlerpalais_-_Augsburg_-_Germany_-_06.jpg

[2]Rita Devi Sharma, M. Varadarajan (2004). Handcrafted Indian Enamel Jewelry. Roli Books

[3]Oppi Untracht (2008). Traditional Jewelry of India. Thames & Hudson

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