You can always count on Deepavali, the Hindu festival of lights, to be a dazzling affair.
It’s not just because of the lines of tiny oil lamps that you’ll find burning in the night, or the sizzling sparklers that often serve as fun for the whole family. Deepavali calls for dressing up, and along with the elaborate sarees and lehengas come a splendid display of jewellery — earrings, bangles, necklaces, and more.
It’s the one occasion where a “more is more” approach to wearing diamonds and gems is more than welcome. All the better to drive out the darkness with, after all. This November, with the spirit of the festival inevitably dimmed, those jewels couldn’t be more required.
That doesn’t mean you have to bling yourself up until you look like your grandmother on her wedding day. There is an array of contemporary jewellery labels hailing from Singapore and India that are taking centuries-old jewellery techniques and updating them for the modern woman, and their designs will feel just as wearable once Deepavali is over.
Below, we’ve put together a list of jewels to help you shine brighter than the neon decor at Little India.
Header photo credit: Tarinika
These aren’t anything like the bangles you grew up with. Firstly, the designs are even older, promising a vintage charm to your look. Secondly, they won’t get glitter all over you; they shine with pearls, green gems and antique gold instead.
(Photo credit: Tarinika)
Delhi-based Maisara keeps the 16th-century enameling technique known as “meenakari” alive through its elaborate jewellery pieces. If you’re looking for a statement ring, you’ll find one in this floral design with carefully painted petals.
(Photo credit: Maisara)
Gold jewellery isn’t the only thing that glitters. Silver bling has become just as popular in recent years, leading to the emergence of labels like Tiysha. The Bangalore-based brand makes handcrafted pieces that are both earthy and contemporary, losing none of the opulence that you would find in traditional Indian jewellery. This choker, decked out with aquamarine, red spinel and freshwater pearls, speaks for itself.
(Photo credit: Tiysha)
Singapore-based label Manjrie specialises in jewellery made with “Polki”, or uncut diamonds. Their designs showcase the natural beauty of the gems, which are set with the traditional Rajasthani technique known as “jadau”. Yet they look anything but old-fashioned, especially these dangling earrings that you can get in either 14k or 22k gold. They shine even more vibrantly thanks to the hand-carved natural emeralds, which were prized by Indian royalty.
(Photo credit: Manjrie)
Another brand that offers a twist to traditional Indian jewellery is Apala By Sumit. Here, the brand takes your typical “jhumki” (or bell-shaped) earrings and gives them a bit of an edge with the use of antique-finish metal and pearls.
(Photo credit: Apala by Sumit)
Indian jewellery often comes in bright, bold colours, so this handcrafted necklace is a nice change that reflects our modern tastes. With its dreamy pastels and intricate metalwork, the 18k gold design will make a beautiful statement piece against a simpler saree.
(Photo credit: Aashni + Co)
As with most Indian jewels, craftsmanship takes centre stage. This Tribe By Amrapali bracelet makes use of the “jali” technique of making intricate lattices out of metal. The handiwork is impressive enough, but the design is taken a step further with its colourful glass details.
(Photo credit: Tribe By Amrapali)