So begins a fascinating article in the March 2017 issue of Town & Country about Munnu The Gem Palace, a family-run fine jewelry emporium in Jaipur and Mumbai, India.
“But describing the Gem Palace as just a jewelry store would be like saying that the Taj Mahal is simply a tomb,” writes T&C Style Director Whitney Robinson.
Siddharth, the swashbuckling heir to the Kasiwal jewelry dynasty, is a ninth-generation fine jeweler whose ancestors go back to the Mughal Empire. Together with his younger brother, Samarth, and company president, Jana Pasquel, Siddharth is credited with bringing the grand traditions of Indian jewelry into the 21st century.
A Jewelry-Lover’s Destination
If its website is any indication, The Gem Palace in India must qualify as the ultimate jewelry-lover’s destination. Among the handcrafted treasures a collector might expect to find there are: a jewel-encrusted, life-size parakeet, a diamond and pearl bridal headdress that touches the floor, an exquisite ring with a Kundan setting of rose-cut diamonds, and ornate hand-enamelwork in vivid and multifaceted precious stones.
Ancient and modern Indian jewelry designs coexist side by side at The Gem Palace: “The same piece that once adorned a Mughal emperor might just as easily end up on a world-famous actress, a beautiful young bride or a wide-eyed Gem Palace visitor, reinforcing a central tenet — ‘though we may come and go, jewelry remains forever’.” – www.MunnuTheGemPalace.com
A Tradition of Flawless Craftsmanship
In 1923, Munnu Kasiwal opened The Gem Palace jewelry shop in Jaipur. The original building, with its pink and white facade and Mughal-style minarets, still welcomes visitors today.
The Kasiwal name is synonymous with innovative design and flawless craftsmanship. The family’s mastery of traditional Indian techniques, including Kundan setting and Meenakari enameling, has built a stellar reputation and popularized the brand among elite jewelry collectors and connoisseurs all over the world.
Central to all Gem Palace designs is the ancient belief that jewelry does not only appeal to your eyes and to those around you. The body also should enjoy the beauty of those pieces which rest against it. Consequently, the reverse of each Munnu The Gem Palace creation receives the same degree of care as the front.
Available in the U.S.
In 2001, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art invited The Gem Palace to collaborate on a collection inspired by the Mughal Empire. This partnership subsequently led to five collections. If you’d like to hold some sparkling Gem Palace designs in your hands, and try them on, head to Barneys New York or any one of its outposts around the U.S.