Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India

Courtesy of a private collection. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA.
This gold pendant features a 125 carat Colombian emerald engraved in Arabic with salutations of peace. Set with diamonds, Burmese rubies, emerald beads and dangling pearls, it was made for a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. Mughal Era • Mysore • 18th century • emerald, ruby, diamond and pearl in 22K gold • 6 x 8.5 x 2 cm

“Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India” features 50 lavish, historical jewelry pieces and objects on loan from a private collection that have rarely been seen in public.  Showcasing more than 300 years of adornment in India, the exhibit explores the original sources of the diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and other gems decorating these pieces, their religious and cultural symbolism, the wars fought for them and the historical tradition of gemology - the study of gems - in India.

The exhibit opens in conjunction with GIA’s annual Jewelry Career Fair on Friday, October 13 – the one day each year when the public can visit GIA’s world headquarters without a prior appointment. "Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India" will be on display until March 1, 2018.