In most cultures around the world, jewellery is not just seen as a piece of adornment. It is viewed through various lenses—an heirloom, a treasure, a sentimental keepsake that keeps our loved ones close, or memorabilia that reminds one of their achievements. Jewellery brings a sense of joy and comfort, and casts a spell like no other.
Bazaar India speaks to avid collectors about their favourite jewel, what makes it unique, and what’s on their wish list right now.
Akanksha Arora—CEO, Tribe Amrapali
“If I had to pick just one piece amongst all the jewel pieces I own, it would have to be my old, Europeancut, diamond tennis bracelet. I wear it every day...it is comfortable, elegant, and feels like second skin. It holds a special place in my heart because it was gifted to me by my husband Tarang (Arora) right after we got married. Even though a tennis bracelet is a fairly popular design, what makes this piece unique are the old-cut diamonds of different shapes that were used to create it. The shapes are assorted, and the natural diamonds were procured from a vintage necklace, making it truly one-of-a-kind.
I look for classic designs when adding new pieces to my collection. Timeless pieces transcend trends and can also be passed on. The one thing that has been on my wish list for a while is a cushion-cut blue sapphire. I am just waiting for the right stone to find me.”
PRERNA RAJPAL—CEO and Chief Designer, Amaris by Prerna Rajpal
“I design all my jewellery with a lot of love and effort, and each piece is close to my heart. But if I had to pick just one, it would be the Diamond Swirl Necklace, which I designed for myself. Comprising natural diamonds and Zambian emeralds—each sized to perfection—this one took over 300 man-hours to design and execute. The intricacy of the design and its sheer impact makes this necklace absolutely unique...while the journey, the design process, and the outcome makes it very special.
Diamonds are forever...and I created this necklace with the idea of something I would treasure not just now, but over the years. It’s definitely something I would like to pass on to the next generation. The design reflects the intricacy and precision that went into creating it, and I would define it as wearable art.
On my must-have jewels list is a necklace featuring Colombian emeralds...I have been wanting to create one for a while now. The hero has to be a 50-carat-plus Colombian emerald, enhanced by beautiful, sparkling solitaire diamonds. I imagine the design to be clean and sophisticated, starring the deep green hue of emerald with a slightly bluish overtone. And at that size, it will be a rarity—a collector’s item.”
ARUNDHATI DE-SHETH—Jewellery Advisor
“To pick one favourite piece of jewellery is almost impossible for me. I love all the pieces I own, rather dearly, and for a variety of reasons. But let me try to narrow it down to one piece... I suppose it is my diamond, round, brilliant-cut eternity band—it was given to me by my husband on our wedding day. I adore this band more than my natural-diamond solitaire ring, which he proposed with...somehow I don’t wear it too often. But this band is so me...and I enjoy wearing it every day.
For me, workmanship is extremely important. I don’t like jewellery that may look good but isn’t well-made. I am a nerd about craftsmanship details, prongs, the profile view of a ring, the clasp of a bracelet or necklace, the amount of metal used...these fine points catch my eye instantly, and I believe they contribute to the longevity of a jewel. So more than fancier pieces, I choose this ring for quality, sentimentality, and ease of use.
I add jewels to my lust list on a daily basis. It is this fascination that propels me and sometimes overwhelms me. I would love to own a wonderful pair of evening earrings with diamonds, emeralds, and a rose-cut diamond, choker necklace.”
“Of all the jewels I own, the two pieces I love the most were gifted to me by my parents. Starting with my mother’s long, basra-pearl necklace that I wear as a bracelet—it has become my signature. And the other one is an emerald ring with diamonds on the sides. The stone belonged to my father, who gave it to me, and I designed this ring. When selecting jewellery, I look for a differentiating factor. What is unique about it? Be it an antique or a modern piece, there has to be something about it that catches my eye...and makes me think of it even after it is out of my sight. I always stress on the fact that one must wear all the beautiful things one owns, and feel joy and pride in doing so. Both these pieces are versatile and feel very individual to me... And I enjoy wearing them every day. Of course, they carry value because they belonged to my parents, and have now been passed down to me. As for my wish list, I have my eye on a few things by Hanut Singh—that, and anything spectacular with emeralds in it.”
RENU OBEROI—Creative Director, Renu Oberoi Luxury Jewellery
“My mother’s gorgeous Columbian emerald necklace is one of my most beloved pieces for two reasons. Firstly, because I designed it for her...and secondly, I eventually inherited it. And that’s why the necklace holds a lot of sentimental value for me.
I believe each piece of jewellery has its unique identity, making it memorable for its owner. The most important thing to consider when collecting jewellery is what speaks to you and makes you happy—whether it’s the design, materials, or the story behind it.
For me, jewellery is a high-design experience, and that’s what I offer to my clients as well. My philosophy is to own pieces that I can wear frequently, and not keep them locked inside. I want my jewellery to be versatile and create different narratives every time I wear it. As a jewellery designer, I frequently come across breathtaking stones and jewels, but I have been wanting to create and own something with coloured sapphires—their beauty and elegance is unmatched!”
VANDANA M JAGWANI—Creative Director, Mahesh Notandass Fine Jewellery
“Out of all the jewel pieces I own, my stack of evil eye bracelets has my heart. The evil-eye bracelets were the very first piece of jewellery that I designed and brought to life using diamonds and opal. I have worn them for years now, and I am emotionally attached to these pieces. I always pick jewels that are timeless and modern—simple yet striking at the same time. Being in this business, I am exposed to a lot of fine gems, but the one thing I would love to own is the Hope Diamond (right).”
AVANTI GOENKA—Managing Director, Bina Goenka Fine Jewellery
“My father gave me a stork brooch when I was a young girl, and I have cherished it ever since. It is set in yellow gold and has an amethyst body and a ruby as the eye. As a child, I found it playful, which was rare in a field that typically catered to adults.
But today, this stork brooch feels timeless, and extremely versatile. It carries sentimental value and serves as a constant reminder that jewellery doesn’t need to be serious. In a country like India, where heavy jewellery is regularly worn, it offers a nice contrast, while still being a talking piece. Lastly, on my wish list right now is a tension-set ring by Dutch goldsmith and designer Leen Heyne. I am fascinated by his technique and love the sculptural product it results in.”