One of the first pieces of jewelry a Pakistani girl receives are gold earrings. Gold and Eastern women go together like peanut butter and jelly. A girl spends her whole life accruing pieces for her collection and I was no different. I don’t remember what was the first piece of jewelry I owned, but I do know that my grandfather bought be gold jewelry even before I had my ears pierced.
I am hesitant to say that girls only collect jewelry for their dowry. Traditionally, parents save money for their daughters and when it is time to give them away, they are given gold. Always, a status symbol, today many independent women invest in pieces that reflects their individuality not just the tradition. They wear it at parties, weddings, and work. However, gold is still primarily reserved for wedding events.
After a lot of thinking about what my next post should be about, I decided to write some guidelines for the modern Pakistani bride. I am lucky to own many gold sets, but during my research I found I am still missing a few key pieces 😉
Anyways, my opinion the following are some essentials that a modern bride needs to have in her trousseau for her wedding day and after.
1. One Complete Set: that includes earrings, a necklace, and a ring. I would recommend going with pearls and gold because that combination goes with EVERYTHING.
2. A Jhoomer: a bit of a splurge, but in my opinion cements you as a quintessential bride. Jhoomers were a big fashion statement back in the day, but they did disappear for a while. People started concentrating on matha pattis and teekas. Well, they are back ladies with a bang and can make any bride or woman look gorgeous. People often wonder if you can wear a jhoomer after your wedding day. Well, in my opinion, you certainly can and women do.
3. Teeka: an essential in a bride’s jewelry collection. A teeka frames the bride’s face and is a must-have, if I haven’t said so already. Many people buy a simple gold and pearl teeka which goes with every color outfit. The teeka can be part of the gold set, which you can wear with the set or standalone.
4. Jhumke with Sahare: I was really smart when I started my collection. One of my first gold major gold purchases was a kundan, pearl, and gold set. I wanted something timeless, classical, and traditional and you cannot go wrong with that combination. That particular set had large jhumke with pearl sahare-gorgeous! I have worn them many times with ghararas, lenghas, peshwas, and saris. Jhumkes are a very traditional part of your jewelry collection. You can wear them alone with the set.
5. Sath Lara: like the jhoomer is a splurge. If I was you and you were getting married, I would convince my husband to get that for me. I don’t know the roots or history of this particular jewelry style, but can tell you that it is a long necklace with seven mini-necklaces, hence the name sath lara. To be honest, when I was younger, I didn’t care for it. It looked a bit messy on brides. But these days, the style has changed and they come in many gems rather than plain gold. If you talk to your dress designer that you will wear one, they can customize their designs to suit this exquisite piece of jewelry. A splurge, not essential in my opinion.
5. Rings: My philosophy about rings have remained the same since I was a teenager-don’t want them. I think rings are completely meaningless, unless its your engagement and wedding ring. I don’t want to fuss about it so whenever I go shopping, I choose to not buy a gold ring. If you like rings, then go ahead, invest in some statement pieces, but you certainly don’t need a ring for each gold set you own. It’s a waste of money in my opinion.
7. Bangles: Okay, I have a very sentimental story about my gold bangles. None of my grandmother nor my mother’s gold bangles fit my fat wrist, so I had no bangles. Traditionally, gold bangles is a symbol of wedded bliss and wedded women would wear them on a daily basis. So, in 2005, we were visiting Sadder, which is like the gold capital of Karachi, and I just strolled into a gold shop. One of the first pieces I liked was this jhoomer. Aishwarya Rai’s “Kajra Re” was a big hit during this time and I wanted a jhoomer. My aunt and mom were like hell to the no. They said get something else. So slightly disappointed, but not ignoring their generosity, I looked through the gold bangle section and then I fell in love. And that’s how I came to own my very first gold bangles.
So above were the key pieces you as a bride can invest in. Now come the tough part- selecting the stones. Below, I have listed some most popular stones that go with a variety of outfits. Price point is always a factor so depending on your budget, make a purchase wisely.
Everyone should have the following
1. Emerald: The name comes from the old French word ‘esmeralde’, which was derived from the Greek word ‘smaragdos’ meaning ‘green stone’. The combination of green and gold is stunning. If your wedding dress is red, purple, or gold, then I would highly recommend getting this combination.
2. Ruby: In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called “ratnaraj”, which translates as “king of precious stones”. Ancient Sanskrit texts, the Bible and other historical writings refer to ruby as a precious gem, indicating the rich history and abiding appreciation of ruby gemstones. Ruby and gold is another winning combination. If your bridal or formal dress is green, blue, or shades of pink, then it is safe to wear this stone.
3. Sapphire: The name sapphire comes from the Persian word safir, derived from the Greek word for blue. Sapphire comes in a variety of colors, but the most well-known is blue. Blue and gold is a stunning combination and can be worn in any occasion. There is a myth in my culture that Sapphire suits the energy of only certain people. If you don’t believe that, then by all means go ahead, invest in Sapphire jewelry. Sapphire and gold goes with basically any color. Green, red, white, light blue, you name it.
4. Pearls: The name “pearl” is said to have originated from the Middle English word “perle”, which in turn came from the Latin word “perna”, meaning “leg”. Pearl and gold is a winning combination. Because of the white color, it can compliment any tone or color of your outfit. Your first gold purchase should be a pearl and gold set.
5. Diamonds: If you are a millionaire’s offspring, then purchase a diamond set. Needless to say, they don’t come cheap. To be honest, besides the engagement ring, I am not fascinated by diamonds or have the desire of owning a lot of them. The only time I would think about getting a diamond set is if I had the money and my bridal dress had silver work on it. Other than that, I am happy with my gold.
There are other semi-precious stones that are fun to own. If you have the essential stones in colors you want, then look into the following stones. They come in a variety of colors and cuts:
2. Moonstone/Cat’s Eye