Given how entrenched real diamonds are in popular culture, it’s difficult to imagine that until the 19th century, diamonds were actually found only in a few riverbeds in India and in Brazil, and the pearl was often valued far higher in terms of aesthetics and price. But multiple factors led to the natural diamond becoming an essential part of our lives and a testament to our special moments. In India, we’ve had a long, storied legacy with the beautiful stone, with some of the most iconic diamonds and designs coming out of our country. For us, they continue to play an important part, marking seminal moments from births to special birthdays. We asked six women about the diamond pieces in their jewellery boxes that marked their own milestones.
Aparajita Jain, Art Expert
The Delhi-based co-director of Nature Morte is known for her keen eye for detail and her impeccable taste when it comes to the artists she promotes and the jewellery she wears.
My heirloom: “A ruby and diamond ring.”
“On my grandmother’s 90th birthday, an incredible milestone, she gifted this ring to all her granddaughters. For me, all jewellery, especially diamonds is something that is related to either emotions or relationships, or marks special events. The ring is something I like to wear every day, because it reminds me of all the special memories I’ve shared with her, what I mean to her, and to the people who love me.”
Defining Own Your Brilliance: “It’s about being comfortable with the good and the bad qualities about yourself.”
Seema Bansal Chadha, Entrepreneur
The stylish New York-based co-founder of Venus ET Fleur, who has been featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, knows first-hand just how important romantic gestures are. Her successful floral business, Venus ET Fleur, which she runs with her husband, is based on that very concept.
My heirloom: “I have a few diamond pieces, all unique, but they have great significance to me; they were all given to me by people I love.”
“My parents bought me diamond studs when I started my company and I wear them all the time. They are classic, go with everything and are a beautiful reminder of love from my parents.”
“My diamond engagement ring. It is an emerald cut four-carat diamond, with baguette diamonds on either side. My husband knew I loved the emerald cut, and I had dropped a few hints along the way, tagging him on photos I liked on Instagram! But he really wanted to design it himself and add his own touch. He proposed in Paris on the balcony of our suite at The Shangri La Hotel, and he managed to have it filmed for us to keep as well. I never take off the ring and pair it with an emerald-cut eternity band which he gave me on our wedding day in 2018.”
“A Cartier diamond bangle given by my husband as a wedding present. I wear this on special occasions. It is so beautiful, a modern family heirloom and I plan to pass it down to my future children.”
Defining Own Your Brilliance: “Going along, falling down and getting right back up.”
Queenie Singh, Jewellery Designer
The Mumbai- and London-based jewellery designer’s love of statement diamond pieces is the foundation of her successful, eponymous label.
My heirloom: “An Art Deco diamond ring, inherited from my mother and grandmother.”
“Though it was a time of incredible sadness, on my mother’s passing two and a half years ago, I received this diamond ring. My mother wore it her entire life (she inherited it from her mother), and while her passing was difficult, this ring is the most sacred piece of diamond jewellery I own. It reminds me of all the good times, and I feel her presence around me. I feel incredibly lucky that she gave it to me, amongst all four siblings. Everytime I wear this ring, I feel she is with me.”
Defining Own Your Brilliance: “It’s about my space. Its my personal light.”
Karishma Manga Bedi, Entrepreneur
This Delhi-based beauty entrepreneur who brought Jo Malone to India is known for her chic separates, classic jewellery and conscious wardrobe choices, making her a style-list favourite.
My heirloom: “Blue diamond comma-shaped earrings.”
“When I turned 21, my mother gave me these diamond earrings. They were in her jewellery box, along with a handwritten book dedicated to me. My mother and I both love jewellery that is unusual. This philosophy is endearing to me. Blue diamonds are rare, and wearing this always gave my mother joy—and she wore them with love. It goes well with everything I wear, but mostly it’s the emotion behind it that makes me think fondly of our relationship and gives me comfort.”
Defining Own Your Brilliance: “It’s about being comfortable with who I am and being honest with myself.”
Sanya V Jain, Creative Director and Entrepreneur
The young mother of two is the creative force behind SVJ Handbags and the recently launched athleisure brand Smokewear.
My Heirloom: “A Colombian emerald and diamond necklace.”
“My mother gave this to me when my elder son, Enzo, was born. This necklace is special because it is more than just an accessory for me. There are beautiful memories attached to it and handed down so lovingly to celebrate an exciting new chapter in my life. I will cherish it forever and pass it down to the next generation.”
Defining Own Your Brilliance: “It’s about being the best version of myself-whether I am at work, with my children or amongst friends. It helps me make a positive impact and influence others at the same time.”
My heirloom: “An Art Deco diamond necklace and bracelet.”
“I received this from my dadi on my 21st birthday. I grew up in Calcutta with my grandparents, who shaped my life. Their mantra was ‘simple living, high thinking.’ My dadi took her middle name, Rani, quite seriously—she loved her jewels and loved to travel the world in great style. She bought me my first bikini, her love for fashion shaped mine and her modernity gave me wings. She made these diamond pieces for me on my 21st birthday. I didn’t quite appreciate them as much then, but they are my absolute favourite now. They come with gems of wisdom and the memories of a happy childhood to be cherished forever.”
Defining Own Your Brilliance: “It’s the brilliance of the kind of values that came with it. Those are gems of wisdom that have stayed with me forever.”
These diamond jewellery pieces mark important moments in these women’s lives proving that the allure and wonder of this magical stone only grow stronger over time. These are not only beautiful pieces of jewellery but also serve as a symbol of memories and stories that will be passed down through generations.