my heart goes bling-a-ling-a-ling
Metal and stone
With its roots in the Latin word jocale, meaning "plaything," which became the French jouel, which was anglicised in the 13th Century as 'jewellery', hot rocks and flashy metal continue to rank high on any wish list. From their humble beginnings as bits of bone and stone linked together to symbolise wealth or status, or even as a talisman, jewellery has been favoured as a means of artefact expression since the Stone Ages.
In the here and now, it retains its significance in a society obsessed with elaborate weddings and Bollywood glam. This week, we went tapping the bling connection to bring you the lowdown on all that glitters.
Attire is naked without a chunky chain or ring to tease the tresses of the dress. Jewels are beautiful companions to the lonely heart. It adorns everything, from your head to your toes and surreptitiously crawls on your body completing that restless sense of incompleteness.
It is much debated whether you play with your jewels or your jewels eye you from the corners- we will never know until we take you through the exquisite kaleidoscope of jewels.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
Diamonds simply entice your soul and like they say, a girl ages but her diamonds retain their shapes and remain evergreen. Why die for love when you would rather die for these precious and enchanting stones?
Diamonds are available in one to one-and-a-half percent in Bangladesh. These are imported from the mines in India in various cuts and sizes. Diamonds are collected from Nakshatra, Asmi and B.C. Sen Jewellers from various major cities in India. And then we have our local house- Jagirdar.
Belgium diamonds are world certified but they cost at least three to four times the Indian diamonds. Jaipur's kolki diamond settings are a bridal craze. Clarity, size, weight and cut determine the price of diamonds. Amin Jewellers, Jharwa House, Venus Jewellers and Diamond World are a few renowned houses where reliable purchases can be made. Nose studs, pendants, necklaces and wedding rings are widely adored. Price is available on request and entirely subject to cut, clarity, colour and weight (in Carats) of the diamond.
Goldie locks and the goldsmith
Explore a new hemisphere of luxury. The epics of gold unfold as one sweeps through the pages of history. Gold dates back to the Mughal era and the designs inspired from the latter period still retain their acclaim. Hyderabad's Kundan and Meenakari are an all time favourite. Real stone gold ornaments and kundan settings in gold are a classic favourite for women in the Indian subcontinent. These intricate designs exhibit flawless expertise in craftsmanship.
Gold ornaments are imported from India, Pakistan, Dubai and furthermore, diligently designed in Bangladesh. Simple love bracelets or wedding bands in gold are urban chic. Antique gold jewellery has mesmerised the gold lovers and goldsmiths around the city. Designs range from a traditional scale to a modern fusion of eastern-dissolves-in-the-western.
The miracle of modern gold jewellery lies within the traditional designs as they perfectly blend in with the contemporary, modern settings. Mayasir includes a section that carries an exclusive range of bridal collection; gold-washed, silver jewellery in the most exqusite designs that is solely Mayasir. Apart from complete bridal sets, Mayasir also offers single peices, such as the tikli and noth that can add an ethereal quality to any bride on less formal ocassions such as the holud or mehendi. Mayasir's intricate designs are a must-own because of their eccentricity and exclusivity. Their price ranges from Tk 25000-Tk 35000.
Kutir shilper and nawabi gold jewellery is available at Aarong. Their collection radiates an air of sheer aristocracy with pure Bangladeshi heritage. Jarwa House, Venus Jewellers, and Amin Jewellers are trustworthy names and their craftsmanship ages back to the days of Eastern Pakistan. Gold prices have been unstable and predictably unpredictable over the decades. Prices have inexplicably surged up to astonishing amounts and dropped down by Tk 1,500 in the past couple of years. Current gold prices stand at 30,676.32 per 11.6 grams for 22K and at 26,030 per 11.6 grams for 21K.
A gold wedding set constituting of a tikli, a pair of earrings, a bangle and a necklace auctions at a starting price of one lac fifty thousand takas and hikes up to 10 lacs.
Smear the dripping silver
Silver's current market price can be estimated at Tk 542 per 11.6 grams. Silver ornaments have crowded the market and is an ideal choice for a lighter yet dazzling delight. Silver melts blissfully into the tangibility and can imitate gold designs simply by drenching itself into a tub of glitter and gold.
Antique shaded or gold galvanised silver jewellery have won over a large clientele in the country. Silver jewellery embeds stones, kundans and beads to their cherished styles. Silver jewellery is available at Gawsia, Chadni Chawk, Tanti Bazaar, New Market, Banani Super Market and Gulshan #1 Market.
Collector's designs are available at Cat's Eye. It has a silver spectrum of the season's tone-on-tone unique style. The pieces are exclusively designed and are available on limited pieces per design. The price range starts at Tk 1200 and can climb up to Tk 4500. A trendy setting of pearls with mono-hued silver has been the play for the jewellery at this store. An ethic tribal touch with the traditional designs sublime into “art you can wear”.
Aarong's silver collection is another marvel to look at. The array of traditional, tribal and contemporary designs shrouds the jewellery counter. When you choose one of their pieces of art, the designs are authentic and exclusive so that the invisible tag of Aarong shines through.
The range starts from Tk 150 for a pendant dangling from a black thread and a pair of earrings, to just a pair of earrings at Tk 2,500. The budget here at Aarong allows the flexibility for you to choose pieces that comfort your pockets.
Costume jewellery with its semi-precious stones or just stunning imitations is a bright sparkle. Costume jewellery fits any occasion draping you with a sheer dazzle at comparatively lower prices. The splurges on costume jewellery have increased in the past decade. The experimental pieces are immaculate trends this fall. The colour schemes available allow you to mix and match your attires. They are available at New Market, Gulshan #1 Market, Pink City and Gawsia Market to just name a few. The prices vary according to quality and quantity.
Pearls and the oyster
The fervour for pearls is ageless. A single strand of pearl is magnificent to make a bold statement. Fresh water pearls and natural pearls crave luxury and their silhouettes create a sophisticated yet dramatic feel. Pearl brooches on cocktail outfits are a feminine touch and cost around Tk 300-400. The pearls available at Gulshan #2 Market are cultivated and cost around Tk 250-1500 a strand. The injection of colours into naturally cultivated pearls creates a prism of green, maroon and grey. The pearls come in shapes of rice, oblong, oval and round. Natural colours include white-perfect, vampire-black and daring pink.
Mother of pearls in silver embodiments are fashion desserts to lust over. These are available at Pink City and Gulshan #2 Market. The ranges vary but you can count on a piece at Tk 250.
Onyx comes in the form of rubies, emerald, amethyst and jade. These stone strands are arranged in strings of monotones to multi-hued extravaganzas. Onyx strings cost around Tk 500, Tk 800 and Tk 1000 and the prices are subjective to the quality. Superior quality stones are available on special requests and a strengthened budget. Sterling silver and semi-precious stones cost around Tk 1000-1200 a piece. Semi-precious stones encrusted in metal cost around Tk 500-600.
Rock chic and the punk princess
Metal cuffs, bracelets, oxidised buckle bands, studded leather straps, a bundle of chains or a bungee of rubber strands are the season's chain gang. These are available at the alleys of New Market, and Gawsia. The prices for these “rock your sock” pieces are minimal starting at Tk 5 to Tk 700. Bargains are the way to take at these stores.
Biker chic leather straps with pendants or coins are also available at these stores. Time and eyes to dig through the bunch are two must-carries for your visit to this part of the city. Defy conventional ways and ignite up your own theories.
Shine and spice up those lonesome attires from plain ear studs to dangling chandelier loops, from a simple love bracelet to a chunky charm bracelet, from the mesmerising classical antiquities to the contemporary bling, the infamous diamonds to the gold-locks. The era of jewellery is infinitely timeless but as we have grown fashion conscious over the decades, a solid treasure chest of jewels is a must own!
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Make up: Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon
Jewellery courtesy: Bridal Collection, Mayasir
By Sanjana Rahman