Thappa jewellery is a type of jewellery that is made with precious stones or old-cut diamonds (polkies) between gold foils, with the foils all-around further highlighting stone setting. Multiple layers of them are strung together to make intricate patterns and bold statement jewellery.
This traditional art form uses a thin high-purity gold foil as opposed to a solid lattice that's used in jadau. The artisans first beat the gold into thin sheets or foils that are arranged and set to shape, forming the base structure according to to the ornament, i.e., a necklace or earring. Once the shape is in place, the setting is chemically washed to clean off any impurities. Once dry, the gems are placed on a gold sheet with a tree sap called 'laakh' or 'lac' for sticking it. The gold foils are then arranged in the gaps between the stones, and multiple layers are added on, one after the other to create a sturdy frame. Now that the stones are set, the gold is lightly heated to cover the edges smoothly. Lastly, the engraver cuts off the excess work patterns onto them, and a final polish is applied to complete the object.
The fact that these collectables are also fully handcrafted with real diamond polkies, often allows big retailers to sell them at prices relatable to jadau jewellery. Ideally, however, having a thin gold foil implies that the gold content is much lesser & hence the prices should correspondingly be much lesser too.. like it is, here at G K Ratnam.
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