What better way to show your love will burn for eternity than the world’s oldest diamond? Originally found over 2,500 years ago in India, the polki diamond is re-entering the jewelry scene in a big way. Unlike traditional diamonds that are precision cut for top-notch sparkle, polki diamonds are sold in their original form.
Jewelers cut straight across the stone to create a flat, wide diamond. Sharp edges are lightly sanded for a soft finish. Otherwise, the irregular, angled shape remains.
Polki diamonds are like snowflakes. No two are exactly the same. Polki diamonds give off a soft glow instead of a glittering sparkle. The final result is a romantic and dreamy gemstone.
The History of Polki Diamonds
Polki diamonds were discovered in India. They were first used in jewelry for royalty. The construction of polki jewelry became an art form in India. They were used in rituals and celebrations. The polki diamond was thought to hold many powers including healing, protection, and wisdom.
Eventually, polki diamonds gained popularity and became more accessible. They became a staple for wedding jewelry sets in India. Over the past five years, Polki diamonds have made their way onto the Western fashion scene. While still extremely popular in Indian weddings, contemporary jewelry designers are also using polki diamonds.
Their rustic charm has attracted Western designers. The wider polki stones lend themselves to artistic, statement pieces. Coupled with their lustrous glow, polki diamonds have been renewed as a trendy gem.
While the diamond is always the star of the show, the process of polki jewelry making is what makes the piece an actual work of art.
Understanding the Art Behind the Sparkle
The true beauty behind traditional Indian jewelry is in the art required to make the jewelry. It is a complicated process that is not often acknowledged in the Western part of the world. There are several steps to create beautiful Kundan and Polki jewelry.
- Kundan means gold. The purest form of gold is used in Kundan jewelry making. Stones and glass are encrusted on 24k gold by applying direct pressure. This is one of the only forms of jewelry making that does not use heat.
- Meenakari is the decoration of jewelry using enamel and different colors of glass. Gorgeous patterns and designs are created by melting enamel into Kundan settings.
- Jadau is the process of creating a polki diamond setting. Multiple layers of gold or silver leaf are used to create a mold. A piece of wax is used to attach the Polki diamond to the setting.
Traditional Indian jewelry making can take several months to complete just one piece. They are handcrafted and carefully designed so that each piece is uniquely stunning.
Since polki diamonds are irregular in shape, Jadau is a time-consuming process. Each setting needs to be made exactly to fit each diamond. Pieces with several polki diamonds in their design could take months to finish. Artisans take care to make each setting as snug as possible around the diamond. When exposed to moist air, polki diamonds will oxidize and turn black. Loose settings allow moisture in and the jewelry will tarnish quickly.
Are Polki Diamonds Real?
Polki diamonds are genuine diamonds, sold in their natural form. They are raw, uncut, and unprocessed. Unlike natural cut diamonds, polki diamonds are not faceted. Therefore, they will not have the sparkle and brilliance you expect from a diamond.
Instead, polki diamonds have a soft glow that is often compared to the light of the moon. Their gold setting reflects light. This reflection shines around and through the polki diamond. This creates an interesting effect that some jewelers compare to the sun reflecting off the water.
Because these diamonds are unprocessed, many people refer to polki diamonds as the purest form of diamonds. As the first diamond ever mined, they also hold a special place in history. Not only are polki diamonds 100% real, but buying one is like buying a piece of history.
Cuts, Colors, and Shapes of Polki Diamonds
When purchasing natural-cut diamonds, size and clarity are the top factors determining value. The bigger, clearer, and sparklier the diamond, the better. Is the same true for Polki diamonds?
The short answer is no. Polki diamonds are unprocessed, so their shapes are irregular. This adds to their rustic beauty. Polki diamonds are flat and wide. They are weighed by carat, but that is less important to their value than a cut diamond.
However, clarity is important to a Polki diamond’s value. Transparency is even more important than size. The diamonds are unprocessed so there will be imperfections. Jewelers will look for Polki diamonds with the least amount of defects. This improves the glow of the diamond.
Different types of polki diamonds
Clarity is what separates the different types of Polki diamonds from one another. Polki diamonds rated by value:
- Syndicate polki diamonds are considered the best quality. They are the clearest and most used in jewelry making.
- Zimbabwe polki diamonds are the second most valuable. Coloring can range from traditional clear to a slight yellow. As the name suggests, these polki diamonds are sourced in Zimbabwe.
- Kilwas polki diamonds are the cheapest. Kilwas diamonds have a lot of imperfections. Jewelers will inject acrylics into these diamonds to improve coloring and hide imperfections. Kilwas diamonds are normally yellow or brown.
Before you purchase, make sure to ask the jeweler what type of Polki diamond you are buying. You don’t want to overpay for low-quality gemstones. Polki diamonds are also commonly confused with Kundan.
Don’t be Fooled: Kundan v. Polki Diamonds
Dishonest jewelers might use Kundan and polki interchangeably. Be careful. Kundan is often used to refer to a gemstone, but it just means “pure gold”. Kundan jewelry is made using 24k gold. While the gold is of the purest quality, the stones are NOT diamonds. Kundan jewelry is made by crushing stone and glass. Sometimes actual gemstones will be used, but never diamonds.
There are also synthetic polki diamonds. Do not confuse syndicate with synthetic. Syndicate polki diamonds are of the highest quality. Synthetic polki diamonds are fake and usually made of glass.
An easy way to identify Kundan from polki is to flip the jewelry piece over. Kundan is usually double-sided. Kundan jewelry artisans create settings around the pendant. This allows for an enamel design on the back. In some cases, Kundan jewelry can be worn forward and backward.
In comparison, polki diamonds are set on a gold or silver leaf backing.
Why Should You Have Polki Diamonds in Your Jewelry Box?
Polki diamonds are perfectly imperfect diamonds. Each diamond is one-of-a-kind. Polki diamonds are romantic, rustic gems. They are also less expensive than a cut diamond. Traditional diamonds undergo precision cuts, faceting, and numerous treatments for the ultimate glitter and shine. Polki diamonds are 100% natural and evoke an understated beauty that cut diamonds do not.
What should my first polki diamond piece be?
Looking for a polki diamond starter pack? Traditional pieces that polki diamonds are used in are:
- Chandelier earrings
- Cuff bracelets with other gemstones, usually rubies
- Pave or mosaic cocktail rings
It is common to find polki jewelry pieces sold as a set. The best designers will collect diamonds that are of similar color and shape to use in coordinating pieces. As each polki diamond is different, this process can take a long time to source, but the results never disappoint! If you are looking for multiple pieces that can be worn together, investing in a set is the way to go.
Choose a setting for your polki diamond
You can find polki diamonds in various settings. The setting corresponds with the style of the piece of jewelry. Intricate settings will have a higher price point. This is important to keep in mind when shopping.
- Jadau – This is a diamond set on gold or silver foils. The gold or silver backing gives the piece a reflective quality that beautifully complements the natural glow of a polki diamond.
- Badroom – Polki diamonds are set with 24k gold in a jaali pattern. A jaali pattern is a delicate lattice work that uses geometric shapes.
- Takkar – Takkar settings involve intricate designs like badroom. However, gold is not used. The diamonds are set and pressed very close together to form the design.
Ready to purchase? First, let’s consider if Polki diamonds meet your jewelry goals.
Do Not Use Polki Diamonds as an Investment
Polki diamond jewelry is gorgeous. If you are looking for a unique piece of jewelry that no one else will own, polki diamonds are the way to go!
BUT if you are looking to stock your jewelry box with investment pieces, pass on polki diamonds. Their value is in the art form used to create the jewelry. Their best quality is their uniqueness. However, the intricate process to create polki jewelry means that it is nearly impossible to repurpose it into other pieces. Vendors that purchase used jewelry assess the value by its weight in gold and stones. Jadau uses thin gold foils, so there isn’t a high gold content in Polki jewelry. Polki diamonds are mostly valued for clarity, not weight. These two factors mean that Polki diamonds don’t have a resale value. Once you buy it, don’t expect to sell it later.
The good news is that while polki diamonds don’t increase in value over time, they can be purchased at affordable prices. Polki diamonds make wonderful heirlooms to be passed down from generation to generation.
The Price of Polki Diamonds v. Natural Cut Diamonds
Polki diamonds aren’t graded the same way as natural-cut diamonds. This makes it a little more difficult to create side-by-side price comparisons. This chart compares like-jewelry pieces so you can see the real cost savings in purchasing polki diamonds.
|Size/Description||Polki Diamond||Natural Cut Diamond|
|1-carat, loose||Starting at $45||Starting at $1500|
|3-carat, pave ring (vintage)||$1,290||$5,500|
|4-carat, tennis bracelet (new)||$400||$3,200|
As you can see, polki diamonds are significantly less expensive than natural-cut diamonds.
Maintaining jewelry is important. Just because polki diamonds are less expensive, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of them!
Care and Maintenance of Polki Diamonds
Under NO circumstances should you use soap or water on a polki diamond. This means you should remove your jewelry before showering or swimming. If your diamond gets dirty, use a soft, clean towel to wipe away the grime. Stay away from traditional jewelry cleansers too.
If you are prepared to go the extra mile to preserve your polki diamond, store it in an air-tight container. Exposure to moist air will damage the stone. When a polki diamond is exposed to any amount of water over a period of time it will begin to turn black.
Why Would I Buy a Polki Diamond if It is Cheap?
Don’t let the price tag fool you! Polki diamonds are genuine diamonds. They are less expensive because they are unprocessed. There is no way to make a polki diamond uniform in shape or size. The irregularity of polki diamonds lessens their appeal in the commercial market.
Polki diamonds are the purest diamond on the market. They were found nearly 3,000 years ago and were considered a staple for royalty. The glow from a polki diamond is soft, yet luminous. It is unique to any other gemstone on the market. You will not regret adding a polki diamond to your jewelry collection!
In addition to their beauty, diamonds have been the center of numerous myths and superstitions for thousands of years.
Bonus Value: The Magic & Superstitions of Diamonds
In many cultures, diamonds provide more value than just beauty and wealth. Did you know diamonds were thought to have healing and mystical powers? Here is a list of diamond superpowers.
- Protection from the Evil Eye. The glare of a diamond pendant was thought to blind evil.
- Cure for insanity. In India, people wearing diamonds were thought to have fewer chances of mental health issues.
- Protection in war. Diamonds were encrusted on armor to prevent disease. Diamonds were also used to lessen damage from weapons.
- Truth detectors. An old myth states that a diamond will glow when the truth is told. Conversely, it would be dull if a lie is spoken.
- Eternal love. Did you know it was believed that Cupid’s arrows were made of diamonds? Being struck or pierced by a diamond made you fall in love.
Polki diamonds were considered to be the most powerful because the diamond is left intact. It was believed that treating and cutting diamonds would reduce their mythical strength.
Still not convinced? Polki diamonds have steadily increased in popularity in the past several years. Contemporary jewelry designers use them to create unique, statement pieces that border between traditional and modern aesthetics.
Celebrities are LOVING polki diamonds right now. These gemstones are glowing in the spotlight at major fashion and entertainment events.
Polki Diamonds Take Center Stage
Fashion and music mogul, Rhianna, made a big statement with a polki choker necklace in 2021. She wore it at her Met Gala after-party. The piece featured a mosaic design of different-sized polki diamonds. The result was stunning and the look turned theheads of fashion bloggers everywhere.
If you buy a polki diamond, you will own a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that is impossible to replicate. Their value is in their rustic, effervescent charm. Can you really put a price on that?
Our Team of 10 includes jewelry experts, antique Buyers & Sellers, baseball card collectors, and other appraisal experts.