It’s been a polki-strewn journey from the salmon-coloured bylanes of Kishanpole bazaar in Jaipur to the hip streets of Bandra, Mumbai. Entrepreneur Himanshu Khunteta opened the Mumbai flagship of his eight-year-old Jaipur-based jewellery brand Tvisha Jewlz (‘tvisha’ means splendour and brightness, and pertains to the shine of diamonds) last October. “We were doing wholesale before that time,” says Himanshu, who was born into a family of fireworks manufacturers. “Founded nearly a century ago by my grandfather, my parent company enjoys an iconic status in the firework manufacturing industry.” With a yen for entrepreneurship, Himanshu found himself driven as a student towards the world of precious jewellery. “I was fascinated with the art that goes with designing jewellery,” he says. “Besides both fireworks and jewellery are a sparkling business, and equally dazzling!”Jhumka earrings by Tvisha Jewlz
Things started falling in place when, during an internship at a jewellery factory in Mumbai, Himanshu found himself working and interacting with kaarigars, sometimes for 12 hours at a stretch, on the floor, learning the techniques of jewellery making. “I started my entrepreneurial journey from scratch, crafting small, but design-rich pieces,” he says. “My journey with diamonds began with a fluke sale of a set of solitaires, which someone asked me to sell. Soon I found myself getting more and more absorbed in the diamond industry, simultaneously working with coloured stones and techniques of jadau (the art of setting) with polkis (uncut diamonds that are usually set on a gold base).”Polki necklace by Tvisha Jewlz
One look at his pieces and one can tell that they are mostly made using polkis.
“Polki jadau is an art developed in Rajasthan, and was introduced in India in the 15th century by the Mughals,” says Himanshu. “What makes it unique is the combination of meenakari (enamel on gold, with fine, delicate hand-painted designs), kundan, diamond polkis, and coloured stones. It is a specialized trade, and so there are different kaarigars for every stage or making a piece. This means that a piece by Tvisha Jewlz is something not everyone can make. A piece of jadau jewellery may take from a month to a year to be finished.”
“The kaarigars I work with have been mostly from Jaipur and Bikaner.” And finding the stones to work on his pieces isn’t difficult. We live, after all, in one of the world’s biggest hubs for precious stones. “According to a study, today, 92 percent of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in India,” says Himanshu. “It is the world's largest selling marketplace. Hence most of the diamonds are sourced from here – from Navsari and Surat.” The diamond roughs are supplied from parts of Russia, Botwana, with emeralds from Colombia and Zambia, and rubies from Myanmar.Polki and ruby earrings from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz
Some of Himanshu’s standout pieces include earrings with carved emeralds. “The kundan work on carving emeralds or on tumbles enhances the look in the form of piroi, or may be used as an attraction in any necklace,” he says of the technique.
But behind all the intricate work and technique, there’s a sense of lightness and modernity to a Tvisha Jewlz design. “We create the design keeping in mind our client, their age, and in-trend colours,” says Himanshu, whose mantra is recreating heritage pieces in a modern finish. “The Mumbai market has neat, elegant taste and hence women, especially brides-to-be, prefer items like liners and small chokers, while people up north prefer more chunky jewellery.” The pieces retail between Rs 3 – Rs 8 lakh.Carved emerald and polki earrings by Tvisha Jewlz
“I don't want to make something that is very commercial,” says Himanshu, whose business today is linked to some of the major business houses in Hong Kong and the USA. His jewellery is also seen in the show windows of many historic jewellery houses. “I would rather have fewer customers whom I can serve better and build faith in,” he says. “Selling day-to-day items is not my cup of tea. I believe that less is more. If I am able to satisfy every customer I come across, then I think I have achieved everything for my brand.”Chandelier polki and emerald earrings from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz Earrings from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz Ring in polki and pearls from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz
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