Pink City Marvels

Tvisha Jewlz’s Himanshu Khunteta tells us about his advent into the art of polki jadau making, which has culminated into a boutique in Bandra filled with elegant pieces for the modern bride, that reflect the heritage of Jaipur.

Lifestyle Insider Earrings by Tvisha Jewlz

It’s been a polki-strewn journey from the salmon-coloured bylanes of Kishanpole bazaar in Jaipur to the hip streets of Bandra, Mumbai. Entrepreneur Himanshu Khunteta opened the Mumbai flagship of his eight-year-old Jaipur-based jewellery brand Tvisha Jewlz (‘tvisha’ means splendour and brightness, and pertains to the shine of diamonds) last October. “We were doing wholesale before that time,” says Himanshu, who was born into a family of fireworks manufacturers. “Founded nearly a century ago by my grandfather, my parent company enjoys an iconic status in the firework manufacturing industry.” With a yen for entrepreneurship, Himanshu found himself driven as a student towards the world of precious jewellery. “I was fascinated with the art that goes with designing jewellery,” he says. “Besides both fireworks and jewellery are a sparkling business, and equally dazzling!”

Lifestyle Insider Jhumka earrings by Tvisha Jewlz

Things started falling in place when, during an internship at a jewellery factory in Mumbai, Himanshu found himself working and interacting with kaarigars, sometimes for 12 hours at a stretch, on the floor, learning the techniques of jewellery making. “I started my entrepreneurial journey from scratch, crafting small, but design-rich pieces,” he says. “My journey with diamonds began with a fluke sale of a set of solitaires, which someone asked me to sell. Soon I found myself getting more and more absorbed in the diamond industry, simultaneously working with coloured stones and techniques of jadau (the art of setting) with polkis (uncut diamonds that are usually set on a gold base).”

Lifestyle Insider Polki necklace by Tvisha Jewlz

One look at his pieces and one can tell that they are mostly made using polkis.
“Polki jadau is an art developed in Rajasthan, and was introduced in India in the 15th century by the Mughals,” says Himanshu. “What makes it unique is the combination of meenakari (enamel on gold, with fine, delicate hand-painted designs), kundan, diamond polkis, and coloured stones. It is a specialized trade, and so there are different kaarigars for every stage or making a piece. This means that a piece by Tvisha Jewlz is something not everyone can make. A piece of jadau jewellery may take from a month to a year to be finished.”

Lifestyle Insider Carved emerald, polki, and pearl necklace by Tvisha Jewlz

“The kaarigars I work with have been mostly from Jaipur and Bikaner.” And finding the stones to work on his pieces isn’t difficult. We live, after all, in one of the world’s biggest hubs for precious stones. “According to a study, today, 92 percent of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in India,” says Himanshu. “It is the world's largest selling marketplace. Hence most of the diamonds are sourced from here – from Navsari and Surat.” The diamond roughs are supplied from parts of Russia, Botwana, with emeralds from Colombia and Zambia, and rubies from Myanmar.

Lifestyle Insider Polki and ruby earrings from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz

Some of Himanshu’s standout pieces include earrings with carved emeralds. “The kundan work on carving emeralds or on tumbles enhances the look in the form of piroi, or may be used as an attraction in any necklace,” he says of the technique.

But behind all the intricate work and technique, there’s a sense of lightness and modernity to a Tvisha Jewlz design. “We create the design keeping in mind our client, their age, and in-trend colours,” says Himanshu, whose mantra is recreating heritage pieces in a modern finish. “The Mumbai market has neat, elegant taste and hence women, especially brides-to-be, prefer items like liners and small chokers, while people up north prefer more chunky jewellery.” The pieces retail between Rs 3 – Rs 8 lakh.

Lifestyle Insider Carved emerald and polki earrings by Tvisha Jewlz

“I don't want to make something that is very commercial,” says Himanshu, whose business today is linked to some of the major business houses in Hong Kong and the USA. His jewellery is also seen in the show windows of many historic jewellery houses. “I would rather have fewer customers whom I can serve better and build faith in,” he says. “Selling day-to-day items is not my cup of tea. I believe that less is more. If I am able to satisfy every customer I come across, then I think I have achieved everything for my brand.”

Lifestyle Insider Chandelier polki and emerald earrings from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz Lifestyle Insider Earrings from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz Lifestyle Insider Ring in polki and pearls from the Trinket Tales collection by Tvisha Jewlz


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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