Last summer, as I sleepily stared out the window on a bus tour of Copenhagen, I suddenly sat upright in my seat. I had spied the most amazing jewelry store, and I vowed to find it on foot as soon as I was through with the tour. Being the jewelry-o-holic I am, I found it and purchased the most beautiful diamond ring. But…it was unlike any diamond that I had seen before. It was not perfect, not even really “cut” and I could see that the clarity was not there at all. The price certainly didn’t reflect what I was accustomed to in the world of diamonds either. Yet still the diamond had subtle luxury, and that’s when I officially fell in love with polki diamonds.
Thanks to Meredith Marks, jewelry designer extraordinaire, I was turned on to this term “polki.” Until then, I had been going under the false assumption that this type of diamond was called rose cut. In fact, in almost every store and catalogue I’ve seen in the United States, these diamonds are mislabeled. (Rose cut diamonds actually look like a rose about to bloom–they look like a diamond which has been cut upside down, creating more of a faceted dome.)
Here is a pair of Meredith’s earrings made with polki diamonds, surrounded by smaller, single-cut champagne diamonds.
Basically, polki diamonds are uncut, rough diamonds that don’t have any of the enhancements found in traditional cut diamonds. They originate from India and are set with Kundan techniques, which don’t involve prongs or claws to set them in the metal. It’s an ancient artform from way, way back in the time of Rhajastani kings. The diamonds are typically a bit larger in size and have a subdued shine because they’re not highly polished.
Personally, I love that these diamonds have a more ancient look. I have seen them set in oxidized sterling with gold, and they truly sparkle in that setting. They most definitely fit in with my “bohemian luxury” personal style. I think this bangle is now officially on my covet list….
I don’t know if it’s that polki diamonds are now on my radar, or that they’re becoming more popular, but I am definitely seeing more of them here in the States. (I’ve even seen a polki eternity band in the Sundance jewelry catalogue.) So keep your eyes open and you may run across a diamond with your name on it!