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When old meets the new



Along with traditional hand-made jewellery, the shop has trendy ones.

JEWELS GARDEN is known as one of the City's premium destinations when it comes to pure gold and diamond jewellery. What many of us don't know is that Jewels Garden has a tradition of over 90 years in crafting precious jewellery for its customers in Bangalore.

It was K.R. Rangaiah Setty who established the business in 1910, when Jewels Garden was known as K.R. Rangaiah Setty & Sons in its erstwhile avtaar, and the shop was then off Avenue Road. Recollects K.R. Sriramalu, who inherited the business from his father: "What buying potential people had in those days! Families used to come into the shop expecting to spend a certain amount of money. No lady would leave the shop without buying at least six sets of bangles and a few necklaces. Today that kind of spending power has gone!" Over the years Mr. Sriramalu has seen many a development take place in the trade. He marvels at the time when he started his training under his father, at the age of 12. "Gold was only Rs. 6.25 a gm. and there were only a handful of jewellery shops in the City and Cantonment area, doing good business," he reminisces. "Then during the First and Second World War, the rates rose, and people started buying less."

In terms of design trends, his son, K.S. Kedarnath, who heads the business today, says: "There is definitely a cyclic trend in designs. What used to be there in the times of our grandmothers is coming back today." To exemplify, there is a large variety of bridal wear sets at the newly-opened showroom on Residency Road, that displays ethnic jewellery, with an antique look. This range is studded with precious stones in various colours, uncut diamonds, Minakari work, "gundu" work, filigree designs, and so on. Inspired by the jewellery worn in the Hindi blockbuster Devdas, most of these sets, called "collar necks" cover the entire neck when worn. Jewels Garden also makes a number of armlets and waistbands in various traditional designs with interchangeable patterns on the fronts that can be matched with different saris. You can choose from a variety of "maanga malas" (necklaces with mango shaped patterns) and "kasi malas" (necklaces with Lakshmi inscribed gold coins) along with some traditional jewellery such as Coorgi sets, simha kadas, and necklaces, gejje addige necklace, among others.

Evolving with the times, Jewels Garden has introduced many contemporary patterns with white gold and invisible diamond settings, lightweight sets that the present-day youngsters are looking at. "There was a time when parents used to select jewellery for their daughter's wedding. Today, the trend has changed. Girls prefer sets that are light and can be worn easily." To cater to this trend, Jewels Garden has brought out its own brand of diamond jewellery collection called Gardenia. This range includes solitaires to multiple-studded diamond sets, using premium quality diamonds, in different cuts and finishes, in a wide and affordable price range. This collection has an interesting display of the shapes of diamonds such as round, square, marquise, pear shaped etc. The store also offers various sets in precious stones such as blue saphires, peridot, rubies, emeralds etc.

Maharajas of Nepal, Travancore, and the Wadiyars have been customers of this store. The family still prides itself on its workmanship and the exclusive work it has done for these royal families. "Gone are those days when hand-crafted jewellery was made, each piece at a time, but we still have 75 per cent of our work done by hand," they say.

While you shop at Jewels Garden, you must check out its exclusive designs in baby earrings and vankis, the gold and diamond tiepins, kurta buttons, and cufflinks for men.

For details you can contact 2212666.

TINA GARG

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