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Gemstones have captivated generations since aeons – and not without reason. Indian scriptures are full of myriad references about gemstones being linked to planets and celestial bodies, and their power to script the destinies of those who wore them. So it came to be believed that gems had life-enhancing and healing powers in them. Apart from their “curative properties”, these colourful geological entities were highly sought-after for their power to amplify the beauty of an ornament. Though the big three – emeralds, rubies and sapphires – and navratnas (a combination of nine gems), found their way into fine jewellery, a whole lot of gemstones were relegated to the sidelines and considered semi-precious. Of late, the line between precious and semi-precious gems is blurring and haute couture designers are experimenting with rare and unusual gemstones that team up with diamonds in fine jewellery. This issue of ADORN focuses on avant-garde jewellery designer Harshad Ajoomal, founder and head designer of H. Ajoomal Fine Jewellery, Mumbai. A man of many parts, Harshad celebrates colours and infuses his contemporary jewellery with hitherto sparingly used gems in India, such as onyx, lapis lazuli, agate, quartz, and more. The Creative Charisma segment decodes Harshad’s creative process in designing couture collections. In the Freeze Frame section we have yet another photo feature highlighting traditional but stylised silver and gold jewellery designed by Surabhi Didwania. Get to know more about this young and upcoming artist in Tete-a-Tete. In the Style Quotient section we have showcased the works of India-born, Dubai-based jewellery designer Vinita Michael. Our US correspondent Smitha Sadanandan met with two up-and-coming jewellery designers – Anna Maccieri Rossi from Italy and America’s Andy Lif. While Anna’s geometric creations are dominated by the theme of time, Andy is known to impart colour to his jewellery by way of plique-à-jour enamelling and coloured gemstones.

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