What are Polki Diamonds?

If you’ve never heard of a polki diamond, you’re not alone. We’re so used to sparkly, polished diamonds that the idea of something that is beautifully rustic while still brilliantly sparkling is hard to imagine. Although most of us are not familiar with these gemstones, polki diamonds are not particularly rare, and they are becoming more and more popular in various jewelry designs.

Typically, a polki diamond is not faceted, but is left instead in its natural state. In jewelry design, designers are often influenced by the diamond’s natural, asymmetrical shape and will incorporate it in their designs.

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Hemant Latawa | Unsplash

Polki Diamond: The Basics

Each polki diamond is unique, but you need to do some research before deciding where to buy polki diamond jewelry. Like with most diamonds, you need to balance the affordability of the jewelry with the quality of the diamond. There are quite a few styles to choose from, but if you are looking for something special like an engagement ring, it might be best to approach one of the more eminent jewelry outlets. But we will discuss this in more detail a bit later.

The word ‘Polki’ is an Indian word and it means something akin to ‘unpolished diamond’, ‘uncut diamond’, or ‘natural diamond’.

The use of raw diamonds in adornments is an ancient practice that played a major part in people’s traditions and cultures in Mughal, tracing back around 2,500 years. One of the social and political groups in India, the Rajputs, made uncut diamonds popular in wedding jewelry. This venture was so successful that it was even adopted by Indian royal families. Even today, handcrafted jewelry adorned with diamonds in their natural state is very popular in the Rajasthan marketplace. That being said, the world of polki jewelry has evolved and modernized to the point where you will see these stones in modern diamond cuts, including princess, cushion, and round brilliant.

In western jewelry designs, polki diamonds are often lightly faceted and polished. They also now have fewer inclusions than conventional polki diamonds and tend to be clearer and more brilliant. There are three general types of polki diamonds: Syndicate, Zimbabwe, and Khilwas. Khilwas are not the best quality overall. Zimbabwe polki is slightly better quality, but Syndicate is the best.

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Dollar Gill | Unsplash

Choosing Polki Diamond Jewelry

The value of a polki diamond is determined the same way as other diamonds, through treatment, clarity, and color.

Treatment

When polki diamonds are polished, they will also sometimes undergo treatment to address impurities. Some jewelry designers will occasionally use fillers. Commercially speaking, polki diamonds are not ideal for everyday wear as they tend to have many inclusions – especially the Khilwas.

Clarity

The number of inclusions a diamond has impacts its clarity. Because polki diamonds are usually unfaceted and unpolished, jewelry designers are more partial to fewer inclusions. With a polki diamond, carat weight often takes a back seat to clarity.

Color

If you are thinking about buying a polki diamond, color will undoubtedly be the most important part of your decision. You will probably come across many yellowish or brown polki diamonds. The closer the diamond is to colorless, the higher the price will be.

Worth

Given that these are the most natural diamonds you will ever come across, they might not have as much value as diamonds that have been cut and processed. This is simply because they do not do well on the 4Cs scale. They do not have a great color grade, they aren’t clear, and, for the most part, they remain a raw uncut diamond.

This then begs the question of whether a polki diamond is worth purchasing. The truth is, if you plan to sell your diamond for profit later, then raw diamonds like this are not the best idea for you. This is because the resale value on uncut diamonds is almost non-existent. Additinally, unpolished diamonds cannot be repurposed or melted the way a cut diamond can.

However, when we are talking about wedding jewelry specifically, polki diamond jewelry can be quite expensive. Also, while polki stones and jewelry may lack the monetary value of cut diamonds, they often carry sentimental value, especially when they become heirlooms.

Today, the contemporary fashion scene is taking note of the natural beauty of these raw stones. Jewelry lovers are appreciating the organic style of this natural material in its natural state and the future of the polki diamond is bright.

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Dollar Gill | Unsplash

What is the difference between Jadau and Kundan Polki Jewelry?

You might find that these terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually very different things. Kundan refers to traditional Indian jewelry made with gold foils, gemstones, and glass. It is prepared with a special meenakari enameling technique on the back. Kundan jewelry looks very valuable because it is made with 24-karat gold, which is very bright.

However, there is not a lot of gold in the jewelry so the value is pretty low. This means that Kundan jewelry is not that expensive. That being said, some Kundan antique jewelry pieces can carry some value when they have authentic meenakari.

The major difference between polki and Kundan is that polki refers to raw uncut diamonds, whereas Kundan jewelry consists of glass and other gemstones. Despite the fact that the materials used in making Kundan jewelry can carry more monetary value than polki diamonds, polki jewelry will be more expensive.

Indian jewelry making also uses the term ‘Jadau’, which is used to make polki and Kundan, but it does not refer to a type of jewelry. Rather, the term ‘jad’ refers to the technique of embedding, which is how polki and Kundan are made. It is the Jadau process that makes the jewelry so expensive. So, even though polki diamonds do not carry much value on their own, the final product can command a high price due to this process.

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Amish Thakkar | Unsplash

Verdict: Is Polki Better Than Kundan?

When considering the similarities and differences between Kundan and polki it is important to remember that while Kundan jewelry making might be more involved and intricate, it is primarily costume jewelry and is not ideal for everyday wear.

Thus, if you are buying for a bride, you might consider a polki diamond worth buying. There are also polki diamonds that can be worn everyday.

You should also consider your budget when deciding between polki or Kundan designs. Polki will be more expensive because they are natural diamonds, and there will also be a price difference between Syndicate, Zimbabwe, and Khilwas polki diamond jewelry.

Natural Cut Diamonds vs Polki Diamonds

In theory, a cut diamond and a polki diamond are the same, with the only real difference being that polki diamonds are unfaceted, unpolished, and uncut. While cut diamonds are natural, they have been altered, faceted, and polished so they are no longer in their rough and raw state. Cut diamonds are also more reflective but tend to have a smaller carat weight than uncut stones.

Is the Polki Diamond a Genuine Diamond?

While polki diamonds are uncut and unpolished, they are still real diamonds. Uncut diamonds have less value, but this does not make them fake. Polki diamonds, unlike cut diamonds, are not treated or altered in any way. Polki diamond jewelry, therefore, looks more rustic because it does not have the distinct sparkle of other diamond jewelry.

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Artawkrn | Unsplash

Is Polki Jewelery a Good Investment?

Because we are talking about raw and uncut diamonds, we need to be aware of the value constraints that this has on the final product. While there are some elements that bring the value up, like the choice of precious metals and perhaps having the stone faceted lightly, overall you will find that polki diamonds are less valuable than cut and polished diamonds.

That being said, there is no rule book, so there are polki diamond engagement rings available if you want to be adventurous. A raw, uncut and unpolished polki diamond ring can be a beautiful thing. It all depends on personal preference.

Conclusion

Polki diamonds are the jewel in the crown of bridal jewelry in India and are rising in popularity worldwide. A polki diamond, by definition, is not cut and polished like other diamonds, but can be used in engagement rings as people become more adventurous and flexible with their jewelry preferences.

Although polki diamonds do not carry the same monetary value as traditional cut diamonds, they are still genuine diamonds. Diamond cutting often makes a diamond smaller than what it was at the onset; a polki diamond, however, will likely hold its size quite well.

So, even with the lower value, polki diamonds are bigger and far more sentimental than ordinary diamonds.

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