A Legacy Designed In Diamonds
Through the Jewellery Trails series, Condé Nast Traveller India narrates the stories of cities across India, told through the voices of iconic, heritage jewellers. Here, we explore Tallin in Jaipur, a bespoke jewellery house rooted in the traditions of the pink cityBy Arzoo Dina |
Childhood Memories Run Deep
For Akshat Ghiya, founder and creative director, Tallin Jewels, these memories of his homes in Jaipur, India, and Padua in Italy and their everyday rituals were fundamental to his future creative endeavours.
“I remember helping my father sort precious stones on weekends or sometimes after school. He would give me packets to sort by shade and quality, just for fun. Back then, I didn’t realise this was helping me lay a foundation for what was to come. And it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I fully committed to a life in jewellery, and one focused on design and creativity,”says Ghiya
The abiding love for diamonds came naturally for this young boy who grew up in a family that had spent decades trading in gemstones and natural diamonds with global jewellery houses. It was but a matter of time before Ghiya channelled his penchant for fine jewels and design and set up a bespoke atelier in the heart of Jaipur.
Passing On A Legacy In Diamonds
The two places that Ghiya calls home—the Pink City of Jaipur and Padua—have played a key role in shaping his aesthetic. The two cities carried their distinct influences. While Jaipur brings a sense of history and traditional craftsmanship, Ghiya believes Italy is all about living a beautiful life, be it dressing well or eating well. He has infused this philosophy into his jewellery while maintaining Indian heritage elements. Tallin Jewels was thus born out of his love for two very different styles of craftsmanship and the juxtaposition of traditional techniques with contemporary, bold designs. Ghiya believes that his time spent outside India provided him with a unique creative lens that has given the atelier its distinct identity in a city known for its heritage jewels.
Honing his skills under the tutelage of his father, Brijesh Ghiya, who he describes as having a discerning eye for fine diamonds and his mother, Namrata Ghiya, a jewellery designer, and artist, it was easy for him to meld the two to create a unique aesthetic. His father would often say, “If you see a beautiful stone or collection of stones and you think that the price is right, buy it. Even if you don’t know how to use it right away, get it. There is the possibility of never finding anything like it again.”
It’s this philosophy that guides Ghiya till date when it comes to choosing gemstones and natural diamonds to create any of Tallin’s statement pieces.
Inspired By Jaipur’s Past And Present
Each handcrafted piece of jewellery reflects the essence of Jaipur, a thriving creative centre known for its artisanal crafts. Tallin reflects the confluence of the city’s past and present.
The store is in the old city in Johri Bazaar, overlooking the main street where for almost three centuries heritage jewellers and master craftsmen have been skillfully setting together polished stones and natural diamonds to create handmade pieces. It’s the perfect creative canvas from which to draw inspiration. And just like its jewellery, the store’s design is influenced by both Italian and Indian aesthetics. Coupled with the grand architecture, the colourful sights, and sounds, and golden-hour sunlight that bathes the Pink City in soft hues, Jaipur is the perfect muse for Ghiya. “There aren’t many cities quite like Jaipur, that oscillate between the traditional and contemporary. One that’s able to move forward while maintaining its ties with the past,” he says. So, our designs, even though contemporary, are often rooted in and inspired by the past.” And if he is ever in need of refreshing his creative spark, a walk through the small lanes of the old city is the perfect antidote.
Creating A Signature Style
Each of the fifteen artisans employed at the Tallin workshop is skilled in traditional craftsmanship, having learned techniques passed down from one generation to the next. In some ways, the brand prides itself on holding tight to traditions like these. There is also a marked emphasis on mixing unusual stones and cuts when it comes to designing a piece of jewellery. “We love mixing diamonds with coloured stones to bring out and enhance the quality of the stones. We look for something special when picking large diamonds. There must be that magic quality to it. For instance, the biggest diamonds can still feel light and ephemeral. We also look for interesting cuts. That’s a big part of our design philosophy,” says Ghiya.
Fluidity defines Tallin’s jewellery, both in terms of design and wearability. We want our customers to feel light and comfortable, which is why our jewellery is generally very easy to wear—it’s flexible and fits the body.
“We believe that jewellery, or any aesthetic pursuit for that matter, should be empowering and not burdensome.”
The styles shift between gentle and sharp forms to organic and geometric pieces. Take, for example, the open setting diamond slices (polki) collection which turns a traditional piece of jewellery into something lighter and free from constraints. Most of the collection features diamond slices paired with rose cuts and rounds, along with pastel-coloured stones for subtle contrast. There is a strong focus on natural motifs with elements of roots, leaves and flowers scattered across the designs. “Even our heavier geometric jewellery moves with the body and is easy to wear, he says, referring to how these sharp forms are a contemporary and playful take on traditional art deco designs. This collection uses translucent-cut stones contrasting with opaque-coloured stones in lightweight and flexible patterns.
The young jeweller believes that it’s imperative they focus on handmade pieces to keep the skill and tradition alive. “This is true from a design standpoint too, owing to the character a handmade piece of jewellery offers. That’s what makes it one-of-a-kind.”
For Ghiya, the creative freedom that he enjoys with his craft is one of the things that fuels his dream for the brand—a passion project inspired by his family’s legacy. “Just like the purpose of a natural diamond is to understand one’s history and trace one’s roots, I can proudly say that I’ve regained my family’s heritage and their love for precious stones. As I walk around the bustling bylanes of the old city, I sense a rich tradition infused with modernism and the culmination of these two periods pays an ode to Tallin’s identity.”