Gem of an idea for summer

Jagmeeta Thind Joy

It’s a known fact that when it comes to jewellery choices, Indian consumers love gold. In recent times, there has been a new found love for diamonds and other metals like platinum. Gemstones, though used in traditional designs even now, tend to be dismissed casually as not too precious or only associated with astrology. And that’s a myth that jewellery designer Simran Gosal Bhullar wanted to address. And she’s done that aptly via her new summer collection under her label ‘Viona’ under the Anaha Kundan jewellery brand.

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“In the language of a jeweller, gemstones like diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire are considered precious and the rest are termed semi-precious,” explains Simran, adding that there is a lack of awareness about other gemstones in India. “All semi-precious and precious gemstones like rubies and diamonds are mined and are sent to India for further polishing and cutwork. In fact, India imports a lot of gemstones but they are exported back as their demand is low in the local market,” informs the designer.

Incidentally, it was at a recent trade show in Jaipur that she came across a plethora of options and was keen to use them in her new collection. “From the raw shape to the finished gemstones, the variety was mind boggling. I ended up extending my stay and bought a lot of gemstones, many of which are known for their healing powers,” she tells us.
Back in her studio in Sector 8 (inner market) Chandigarh, the designer got down to work and the result of it is out now in the shape of a beautiful collection that has gemstones as central point of the design. “I love colour and I also wanted to break away from the traditional designs. I kept in mind a contemporary woman who would love to wear minimalistic yet arresting jewellery every day. Jewellery that would be a perfect fit with Western wear as well,” Simran explains.

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The collection is ideal for summer and brings in long neckpieces like strings, statement earrings and rings. The gemstones come in unique shapes and cuts and the designs are further accentuated with the use of diamonds and gold beads. “Gemstones that are mined and not lab sourced are also pocket-friendly as they are available unlike diamonds or emeralds that are expensive because of their limited supply,” informs the designer.

Interestingly, the collection is one of a kind with Simran using over 100 varieties of gemstones in her new collection. The beauty lies in the different hues and many of the gemstones come with natural colour tones and serrations that look like hand painted designs. Be it smoky topaz, aquamarine, amazonite, lapis lazuli, coral, green amethyst, labradorite, tourmaline, pink quartz…it’s a virtual bouquet of shades. And not to make it an over the top collection, the designer has chosen simple designs that don’t pinch the pocket either. “Baubles are of no value and you can only wear them a few times. These gemstones are for life and have an inherent quality that makes them timeless,” she adds.

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To make it easier on the pocket, the designer has different ranges on offer. She’s used gold plated silver as well as 18 k gold and paired gemstones with diamonds too. “I am also open to customisation depending what colour and price one is looking for. The idea is to create awareness and also move away from the usual concepts of jewellery,” she says.
Interestingly, the collection which is priced between Rs 3,000 to Rs 35,000, depending on the gemstone and metal used, will also be exhibited in New York. “I showed the collection to a few overseas clients and they were impressed with both the quality and how wearable the jewellery is. The exhibition will be held in June,” summed up Simran.

(This article first appeared in Life in Chandigarh)

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