Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Open to visitors, India's beautiful Golden Temple (a/k/a Harmandir Sahib) is one of the country's many sacred sites.

Initial construction of the temple began over four centuries ago; however, many centuries would pass as the structure underwent numerous restorations. India is also the home of featured jewelry designer Hanut Singh.

The beautifully elaborate meenakari jewelry is considered India's traditional style of jewelry.

Meenakari is a painstaking enameling art form introduced to India by the Mughal people and Indian royalty became the proprietors of these splendid pieces.

A descendant of Maharajas, Singh was regularly exposed to exquisite meenakari jewelry, as well as the baubles and trinkets of Michelle Ong, Cartier, and Fred Leighton. He knew jewelry would forever hold his imagination.

"Jewelry is a passion for my entire family. They are all connoisseurs, so I was always obsessed with jewelry," he says. Singh blends the styles of his country's traditional jewelry, and vintage European pieces rendering items that are streamlined and modern bursting with vibrant color.

"My jewelry is like a well-made cocktail," he says. "A mix of ideas and looks ranging from Mughal influences tossed with linear architectural inspirations and stirred with art nouveau and art deco helpings."

Though more streamlined than the arrangement of meenakari jewelry, the vivid colors, 18-karat gold, intricate enameling details, and lustrous gemstones are a dramatic homage to India's history of incredible jewelry making.

His designing skill is purely intuitive, "I create on instinct, passion, and learning on the job. I feel fortunate that I did not have formal training in jewelry. I cut my own stones and therefore my designs are completely original," says Singh. "Every collection has a distinctive look."

His beautiful jewelry items are prized possessions of such stars as Naomi Campbell, Penelope Cruz, and Beyonce Knowles, but Singh embraces a diverse clientele.

"It is not just about catering to celebrities but to everyone who buys my jewelry. I hope my jewelry makes an enticing and intoxicatingly potent feast for the senses."
Photo 1 (top right): Antique Nathdwara Pendant with Ruby Bullet Detailing and Crystal
Photo 2 (bottom left): Ruby and Diamond Sword Earrings
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