The 2008 period flick Jodha Akbar, was a success on multiple fronts. While the movie itself was a blockbuster success at the box-office, lead actress Aishwarya Rai gained rave reviews for her sensitive portrayal of the ethereal Rajput princess Jodhabai. Aishwarya’s costumes and heavy Meenakari jewellery made especially for the movie by Tanishq, earned kudos from moviegoers and historians alike for their intricate beauty and authenticity.

The movie, according to many, also had an unexpected consequence – a sudden resurgence in demand for Meenakari jewellery – the ancient art of colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours, decorated in intricate designs.

Rajasthan, with its rich history of making intricate enamel jewellery is today the main hub for Meenakari work in India. It’s a delicate art form that calls for lots of skills and perseverance. The creation of a brilliant Meenakari ornament is preceded by a long laborious process of chiseling the surface into the desired shape and then embedding a variety of enamel paints into it.

The end result is breathtakingly intricate, its beauty only enhanced by the use of vibrant colours that are typical to this style of jewellery making.

Origins & History:

Historical evidence indicates that the art of Meenakari was first introduced to India by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in the 16th century. However, it was Raja Man Singh (of Amber) who ensured the art flourished when he brought down skilled workers from Lahore to the Mughal palace.

Jaipur continues to remain the mainstay of this art in the state with the best examples of Meenakari jewellery said to originate from here. While Delhi, Jaipur and Benares are renowned for their gold Meenakari creations, Nathdwara, Bikaner and Udaipur are equally famous for their Meenakari creations in silver.

The Process:

Traditional Meenakari jewelry features detailed etchings of flowers, birds, and other animals. This craft involves layering various mineral substances over a metallic material that could be decorated with precious gems, shaped shilpakar clay, and engravings. The grooves left around the stones or engravings are filled with enamel dust of various colors.

The Evolution:

Although the traditional base metal used in Meenakari is gold – since it’s compatible with many of the minerals used to lend colour – emerging techniques have made it possible to use copper, silver and white metal albeit with some limitations.

While gold continues to remain the popular choice, silver is finding increasing use among Meenakari craftsmen in the making of accessories, cutlery products, jewellery boxes and art pieces.

Maintenance Tips:

Meenakari products are durable and can be used on a daily basis, yet it is important to maintain them to ensure that they last for a long time. They also tend to lose their sheen over time hence it’s important that gold and silver products are cleaned regularly (with a dry cloth).

The Men Behind The Craft:

Called Meenakars, the artisans behind this art practice and learn Meenakari from one generation to the next. The delicate work involved in the making of every piece ensures that it passes through several such artists, each of whom is specialized in a particular aspect.

For example, the process begins with the designer or sonar who makes the initial design, followed by the kalamkar who engraves the final design after which the piece reaches the enamellist (meenakar) before it’s polished and reaches the Kudansaaz (stone setter).

The final cog in this wheel is the stringer or the patua who readies the ornament. Like many other traditional crafts, Meenakari is also facing a shortage of skilled manpower today with a majority of the new generation craftsmen opting for better-paying jobs and professions.

Meenakari Today:

In the modern world, new and sophisticated styles have emerged to cater to the urban populace, although the old traditional styles of jewellery like Meenakari are considered classics and still enjoy a strong demand.

Today Meenakari is practiced extensively even outside its main hub of Jaipur. Interestingly, each place has added its own distinctive style, technique and variation to the final product.

For example, the meenakars from Lucknow are known for their skill in the use of blue and green enameling on silver, while their counterparts in Benaras are famed for the use of motifs Lotus blooms and buds and pink brush strokes set on white enamel.

In the contemporary Indian market, one can find a beautiful blend of the rich old cultural heritage and the modern design sensibilities that now veer towards lighter, more intricately designed baubles.

Fashioned in gold, silver, and the now popular platinum, precious coloured stones set in Meenakari is also easily available online and is fast becoming a popular choice among women buyers today.




Setting up and running a small business is not for the faint of heart. For starters, it involves wearing many hats – that of a problem solver, administrator, communicator & marketing pro and a finance & accounting whiz – to name just a few.

But thankfully in this age of the Internet and technology, there exist several efficient online Apps that can help you increase productivity and efficiency. Or just make your life as an entrepreneur a little easier.

Here’s a breakdown of the 7 handy online tools compiled by GEMATLAS, which could be game-changers for your start-up this year!

  1. 1Password (.com)

Keeping track of all the different passwords that facilitate your business online can be a huge challenge. This site changes all that by giving you a single Master password, that will enable you to access to all the others. Designed specifically for businessmen and professionals on the move, 1Password is fast, convenient, efficient and safe, and offers new users a free 30-day-trial version.

  1. Workflow (.is)

These days there is an App available for almost every task. While multiple options give one the power of choice, they can be a little confusing at times when all you want is simple commands.

This App offers the perfect solution to the problem by simply combining Apps that boast of similar features. What’s more – you can build your own workflows with a simple drag-and-drop interface, mix & match hundreds of actions to create quick shortcuts, manage your media, share content, and much more.

  1. Hotjar (.com)

No, this one has nothing to do with creating the perfect recipes, rather it’s a handy little tool to find out more about the visitors visiting your website and what exactly is catching their interest on it.

Fast and quietly efficient, Hotjar features the latest in analytics and user feedback information using Heatmaps – their custom feature which tracks the scrolling behavior, clicks and visits of the users and visitors to your website. Armed with this vital info, you will know exactly what is working and what’s not and get your site optimized accordingly.

  1. Wistia (.com)

For frequent online users, Wistia is a familiar name mainly for their video hosting services, which has been used by businesses for well over a decade now. But, did you know that in addition to hosting your videos, Wistia tracks how each viewer watches your video, second by second, to give you detailed insights into how your videos are performing, to help you optimize the impact of your visual uploads!

  1. Zoom (.us)

Setting up a new business often involves frequent travelling, leaving little time for staff sit-downs or important business meetings. But Zoom can make all this happen for you with its ability to handle multiple tasks effortlessly. So, now, whether you need to conduct an urgent webinar online or meet with multiple clients, Zoom makes it possible with HD video and voice quality.

In addition to its easy-to-use interface, this App also features handy options like low bandwidth handling, multi-person screen share and a mobile app.  What’s more, you also have the option of recording your meetings – in case you need to refer to them again at a later date.

  1. MailTime (.com)

We all have been inundated with unwanted emails at one time or the other. What makes the situation worse is following the thread of the conversation, which often becomes a complicated affair, and more so on mobile devices. With this App, you can now convert all your long email conversations into the same format used by text messages with its content parsing engine which cuts out annoying metadata to display emails in clean bubbles.

Its intelligent inbox also sorts out the important conversations from the junk mail (newsletters, discounts, promos, etc) ensuring that you never miss a mail from an important contact.

  1. Square (

Given the government’s ongoing thrust on promoting cashless payments, Square can be a useful ally specifically for people selling products online. It’s designed to run on a smartphone or tablet, on your counter or on the go.

This PoS App allows businesses of all kinds to accept and process card purchases made using MasterCard, Visa and American Express, among others. An added incentive – this App accepts both magnetic and chip-enabled cards and the money is credited to your bank account the very next working day.


Top 6 Most Fabulous Celeb Engagement Rings Ever

Celebrities and jewels are inseparable much like wine and cheese. The bigger the celebrity, the bigger and more famous the jewellery that he or she flaunts. And when it comes to flaunting their bling, engagement rings are a hot favourite. And yes, size does matter as does the price tag of the fabulous jewel (read diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies) affixed in the ring.

So here’s a select list of 6 spectacular engagement rings made famous by a slew of celebrities ranging from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Tomb Raider and Salt star, Angelina Jolie. Statutory Warning: The size and price tag of some of these rings might cause you some personal discomfort, be warned!

Queen Elizabeth II Solitaire Diamond Ring


As the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, she has far bigger jewels in her royal collection, yet this elegant platinum band encrusted with a 3-carat solitaire diamond, flanked with five smaller diamonds on either side, is one of her favourite possessions – going by how often she wears it.

Often described as a ring of rare class and extraordinary elegance, it was given to her by Prince Phillip way back in 1947 – and continues to be one of her most treasured possessions with lots of sentimental value attached to it.

Kim Kardashian’s flashy Cushion-Cut Diamond

She may seem like controversy’s favourite child (ahem!) but one just cannot deny that no one knows how to stay in the news better than Kim Kardashian. One of the many instances when she made the headlines was when Kanye West proposed to her in 2013.

And, no, it wasn’t the fact that he proposed to her that made the news, rather the way he did it – with a humungous, 15-carat, cushion-cut sparkler. And much like Pitt, Kanye also went the whole hog with designer Lorraine Schwartz to get this ring made with only the best quality, conflict-free diamonds that his money could buy – how’s that for true love!

Jennifer Aniston’s Radiant-Cut Diamond Set In Gold

Anything that ex-beau Brad Pitt can do, actor Jennifer Aniston can do better. And that’s exactly what she seems to have done when she got her husband and fellow actor Justin Theroux to gift her a huge 8-carat diamond set on a yellow gold band.

And even as this famously private couple continue having each other’s back in a tabloid-driven world, the former Friends star is not averse to flashing her fabulous sparkler at red carpet events from time to time.

Marilyn Monroe’s Elegant Baguette-Cut Diamond Band


She was rated as one of the world’s most beautiful women, so when Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio gifted Marilyn Monroe a gorgeous platinum eternity band, it couldn’t be something ordinary out of the neighborhood store. DiMaggio gifted her one set with thirty-five baguette-cut diamonds.

A small confession here though. He gave it to her on their wedding day – January 14, 1954 – so technically it was her wedding ring. Unfortunately however their wedding didn’t really stand the test of time, but the ring continues to draw sighs of appreciation – for its simple, yet elegant style and timeless sophistication.

Angelina Jolie’s Emerald-Cut Diamond Ring

Theirs was a tumultuous love-affair that finally culminated in a marriage sometime in 2014. Although having separated since, after a bitter divorce, Hollywood’s original love-birds Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s wedding made headlines for the emerald-cut engagement ring that was snugly wrapped around Jolie’s finger.

The story goes that hubby Pitt had brainstormed with jeweler Robert Procop for an entire year before the big day to come up with a custom creation like none other. And going by the publicity the ring got pre and post engagement, the effort seemed to be well worth it.

Beyonce’s 18-karat Emerald-Cut Sparkler Set in Platinum


For singer, songwriter and actress Beyonce nothing beats the huge 18-carat emerald-cut diamond ring that Jay Z presented to her on their engagement. This bejeweled stunner crafted by celebrity designer Lorraine Schwartz is just a simple band with a classic shape.

It’s the sheer size and glitzy sparkle of the huge rock set on top of it that literally takes your breath away and how! Clearly if love could be measured in diamonds, Jay Z would walk away the proud winner.

Top 6 Most Fabulous Celeb Engagement Rings Ever

How To Choose & Pack Jewellery When Travelling


Typically the summer months are synonymous with two things – rising temperatures and holidays. So whether you’ re heading for foreign shores, hitting the beach for a few days of surf and turf or just hitting the road with your SUV,  chances are you may have unanswered questions about what jewellery you need to carry and what you should leave behind.

So we at GemAtlas decided to share a few simple pointers that will help you finalise the kind of jewellery you need to carry (regardless of your destination) and how to pack it as well.

For starters what you need to remember is that it’s never a good idea to leave your accessory planning for the very last minute. The thumb rule when packing for leisure vacations is to never include items of high monetary or emotional value, unless you need them as part of your ensemble for a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday celebration.

What To Pack:

A simplified solution to this problem is to go with a handful of neutral accessories that could be used with any outfit. Prime examples here would include a small pendant, a simple necklace, a small hoop or stud earrings and an elegant bracelet.

If you do have any special occasions planned, you could add a couple of finer pieces – that make a statement. But do remember to get them insured as a precaution against unexpected mishaps along the way.

Try to stick to a preferred colour scheme instead of packing every piece into your jewellery box. Bold coloured gemstones like red spinel, aquamarine or amethyst usually make for excellent choice against a neutral outfit.

The decision whether or not to carry an expensive wedding or engagement ring presents a problem. Should you carry it or leave it behind? While a lot hinges on the destination and the type of activities you have planned, it’s always a safer bet to leave the flashier and expensive pieces of jewellery behind and this includes your wedding/engagement ring.

Alternately, you could opt to wear the less expensive of the two, or swapping your pricey diamond engagement ring with one made of the much cheaper white crystal or white topaz.

Last, but not the least, remember to account for the weather at the places you intend to visit. For example, colder places where you will be bundled up in jackets and gloves, mandate wearing lighter pieces like a brooch or smart earrings while shiny pieces that sparkle in the sunlight can be used best at beach venues.

How to pack jewellery for travel:

Now that you have made a list of the jewellery pieces that you intend to carry along on your vacation, the second challenge is how to pack them in an efficient, organized manner that ensures that they don’t get tangled or damaged enroute.

Here are a few things you might want to consider:

  • Do ensure that all the expensive pieces of jewellery you intend to carry with you are insured and have an updated appraisal value.
  • Any piece that includes high value gemstones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds should preferably have a report from a certified laboratory – to help with potential insurance claims in case the piece goes missing.
  • Make it a point to take pictures of the high-end jewellery you will be carrying. This is to help prove your ownership in case you lose it and it turns up with the lost-and-found later.
  • Pearls need a bit of moisture to retain their shine, so remember to pack them last and unpack them first.
  • Earrings should be stored in a pill organizer to prevent damage, similarly you can use straws to string your necklaces and keep them tangle-free.
  • Use individual, sealable, transparent plastic bags to pack every piece. This will allow you to see and choose quickly when it’s time to get dressed.
  • The most important tip. Never make the mistake of packing all your high-end pieces in your checked baggage – which could get lost or worse still, stolen. It’s a lot safer to carry them with you in your carry-on bag.

Follow these pointers and your troubles with what jewellery to pack and how, will be a thing of the past. Just remember, the objective behind taking a vacation is to help you relax, unwind and forget your daily grind. Keeping your jewellery list simple and inexpensive will ensure you make the most of your time out.

Happy Holidays.

How To Choose & Pack Jewellery When Travelling

OPALS: The Chameleon of the Gem Universe


The beautiful gem Opal has been one of the strongest jewellery trends over the past decade. The gemstone came into spotlight when Cartier used it prominently in its famed 2008 “Chimera collection” at the Biennale des Antiquaries in Paris.

Today, this stone is an integral part of most jewellery houses, its mystery and vivacity in perfect sync with the rising interest in spirituality and awareness of the environment.

Where Are They Found?

The best Opals are mainly found in sedimentary rock deposits in places like Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, which accounts for roughly 95% of the global production. Opals are also found in countries like USA, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Slovakia, among others.

Types & Colours:

The two primary varieties of this gemstone are precious opal and common opal. A precious opal is known by its characteristic play of colours and is quite rare. Common opals also called “potch”, do no exhibit this trait and are found in abundance across the world.

Interestingly almost 90-95% of opals are of the common, single-coloured variety (white, grey & black), while approximately 5% have ‘some’ colour. Less than 1% of opals have real “value”.

What makes the opal truly unique is its ability to display all the colours of the spectrum depending on the angle it is held. This ‘play of colours’ is caused by the interference and diffraction of light when it passes through the small silica spheres that make up its interiors.

How are Opals Formed?

Opals are basically a combination of water and silicon dioxide. Water flowing through cracks in sandstone picks up tiny particles of silica. Over a long period of time, this solution solidifies into a hard gel like substance to form opals. Opals have also been found in fossilized shell, wood and bone.

An opal therefore cannot be called a crystal, but rather an amorphous solid. According to experts this was also the process that preceded the formation of opals in volcanic areas of inland Australia about 70 million of years ago.

The secret behind their ‘Colour’:

Only the best quality opals have the ability to refract colours. This is due to the diffraction of white light by its silica spheres and voids which then dissipates it into a rainbow of colours.  Again it’s the size and space between such spheres that decides the colour of the opal itself.

The more commonly found blue opals are the result of smaller spheres, while the extremely rare red variety is formed by much larger spheres. One of rarest opals in the world (Harlequin Opal) is known for its ability to display colour patterns akin to a checkerboard.

Are Opals Unlucky?

Many people do seem to think so, but this belief is more the result of a silly myth, than any real evidence.  And the (mis) credit for this goes to Sir Walter Scott’s bestselling 1829 novel, Anne of Geuerstein.

The novel tells the story of Lady Hermione, who is falsely accused of being a demoness, and dies shortly after a drop of holy water accidentally falls on her opal and destroys its color.

It was just a piece of fiction that readers misinterpreted as the truth. Within months of its publication, the opal market crashed and prices were down 50%. But mercifully the market revived yet again nearly half a decade later with the chance discovery of an amazing black opal in New South Wales (Australia) in 1877.

Myths & Legends:

Opals have a very long history and there are many myths pertaining to the stone. In ancient times, opals were a symbol of fidelity and later a tool for emotional prayer. Opals are also believed to have curative properties for vision-related problems.

Others believed that when worn as an amulet they had the power to make the wearer immune to any disease and enhanced his mental faculties. The opal is also a symbol of justice and peace and is used as divine protection in dangerous places.

Expert Tip: Opals contain between 5-20% water which tends to dry out eventually making the stones soften and prone to cracks. Interestingly enough, it’s these very cracks and imperfections that are also responsible for one of its biggest attributes – their colour or fire. Opals with cracks that are visible to the naked eye are considered to be of an inferior quality.

OPALS: The Chameleon of the Gem Universe



Like diamonds, pearls have always been a must-have for any women with a taste for fine jewellery. Apart from the lure of their luminescence and their practicality in terms of going with almost any ensemble, these shiny orbs have a long and glamorous history with an innate sense of mystery. Clearly more than enough to draw attention to almost every facet of the wearer’s personality.

Pearls ooze sophistication and understated elegance! One only needs to remember the late Princess Diana’s magnificent multi-strand pearl choker, (the one with the huge sapphire clasp) worn with a black dress.

Going back even further, aristocratic Russian dukes were said to have a habit of showering their favoured opera singers with fine pearls while Belle Epoque courtesans are said to have judged their lovers by the length and shine of the pearl belts they were gifted with.

More recently, pearls have been flaunted by the likes of actor Sara Jessica Parker (of Sex & The City fame) and adored by other celebrities including singer Mariah Carey, actor-singers Rita Ora and Rihanna.

But despite their obvious global appeal, pearls have a dubious reputation for being replicated widely. It is often difficult for consumers to distinguish between the real thing from and artificial pearls.

To the naked, untrained eye, fake or imitation pearls seem to have the glitter and shine of real pearls. Artificial pearls are usually made from cheap materials like glass, ceramic, shell or plastic, and then coated with a special varnish or lacquer to imitate the luster of a genuine pearl. Unlike real pearls which are purely an act of nature, fake pearls are machine-made, mass produced and readily available.

Listed below are 10 ways which can help you determine whether the pearl string you so badly want to buy is made of real pearls or cheap plastic/ceramic imitations.

The easiest way to identify a real pearl is by just using your observation. Real pearls are nature’s bounty. Each one unique in itself. Ergo no two ‘real’ pearls can ever be alike in terms of their size, shape, luster or colour. Fake pearls on the other hand tend to be exactly alike in every respect.

Ever seen a necklace of perfect pearls? If you have, chances are it either costs tens of thousands of dollars or it’s an imitation piece available with most stores that sell imitation jewellery.

It’s extremely rare to come across a natural pearl with the perfect size, shine and shape, much less a necklace full of them. Now you know why perfect pearls of above average size are so sought after and sell for a small fortune.

True pearls are cool to the touch even when the temperature outside may be soaring. Fakes made from either glass or plastic tend to get sticky with heat and are much heavier than the genuine variety.

Further, real pearls when rubbed against the skin or teeth have a rough, gritty and sometimes uneven feel while fakes will boast of a smooth surface and in some cases, show teeth marks if it’s been made using plastic.

Sound can also be an important ally when trying to spot a genuine pearl. When shaken gently, real pearls produce a softer sound while most fakes give a thin almost metallic sound.

Cultured or natural pearls can also be identified using basic magnification (5x, 10x), wherein their surface will appear to be grainy with hints of rings or ridges around the drill hole. Fake or imitation pearls will usually reveal a rough, eggshell-like surface under magnification.




Gemstones, in all their array of colours, monetary values, lustres, shapes and sizes have fascinated and been coveted by mankind for centuries. They have adourned the body in jewellery for as long, enhancing physical appeal.

But, in addition to their physical appeal, many gemstones are said to possess unique healing properties and energies that can be harnessed to remedy all kinds of physical and psychological problems.

Across the globe, there are several examples of successful business people, actors, professionals, politicians and sports persons who swear by the healing powers of gemstones and the positive changes that they have brought into their lives.

Here’s a closer look at five such popular gemstones and their legendary healing properties, which if harnessed properly are said to exert a positive impact in the wearer’s life.

Citrine:  To Increase Wealth & Enhance Creativity:

Also commonly called the “Success Stone” or “Merchant’s Stone” (for its ability to increase cash flow), this yellow-to-golden member of the quartz family is said to possess the power to infuse positive energy into the life of its wearer. A stone of abundance, Citrine is especially useful for those who want to attract long lasting material wealth and flourish in their respective careers and businesses. Carrying a Citrine attracts love and happiness, and guards against those who would break your heart. It is also an effective shield against spite and jealousy.

Its many positive energies are also said to improve the flow of positivity and good fortunes into the life of the wearer in unexpected ways, in keeping with its reputation for being a gemstone of abundance.

Blue Lapis Lazuli: Enhances Intellectual Ability & Communication:

This deep, celestial blue semi-precious stone is known to be a universal symbol for wisdom and truth. It is also said to be ideal for those who want to improve their intellectual abilities and improve their communication skills significantly.

Lapis Lazuli is a powerful tool for activating the higher mind and enhancing intellectual ability. It stimulates the desire for knowledge, truth and understanding, and aids the process of learning. It is excellent for enhancing memory and ideal for executives, self-employed professionals and business people to stimulate their wisdom and good judgment when dealing with the practical world.

Also called “Stone of Truth”, this gem is said to have the ability to encourage honesty in its wearer, promote meaningful friendships and bring about harmony in relationships. An intense gem, the Lapis Lazuli is perfect for those who want to ensure harmonious communications with their near and dear ones.

Bloodstone: For More Energy & Good Luck:

Since time immemorial, Bloodstones have been valued not only as a good-luck charm that bestows its wearer with a long life, but also as a gem that enhances wealth and popularity.

It is also reputed to bring its owner respect, good fortune, riches and fame. It is said to protect the wearer from all kinds of deception, help him overcome enemies in battle, and help bring victory in court and legal matters.

Bloodstones are also said to possess the unique ability to improve mental clarity, help in adjusting to new conditions and aid the wearer in taking correct decisions. These stones were said to be distributed to warriors and soldiers during medieval times to give them courage and sanitize their blood before a war.

Amethyst: To Ensure Balance In Life:

It is the birthstone for those born in the month of February. A gem blessed with abundant positive energy and the power to balance the body’s chakras, Amethysts are used to stimulate the Etheric Chakras, Crown and Third Eye, which is said to control our sense of perception and self-belief.

Ancient Hindu texts reveal that wearing an Amethyst bestows the wearer with a calm mind, invites true love and enhances concentration. These gemstones are also said to have the power to cure illnesses such as alcoholism, depression, headaches and insomnia.

Rose Quartz: To Mend A Troubled Mind:

A symbol of love and beauty, Rose Quartz helps the wearer calm his mind and control his emotions. Said to represent Venus – the planet of love and beauty, this gemstone helps to mend those wracked by troubled emotions and mental instability.

It is known as the “love stone” as it emits a strong vibration of unconditional love, joy, warmth and emotional healing. This beautiful pink crystal has a powerful energy that resonates within both the heart chakra and the higher thymus chakra, the area related to compassion.

In addition to helping in calming the mind, Rose Quartz is believed to be useful in healing other physical ailments, most notably those related to our heart, blood circulation, skin complexion and in curing sleeping disorders.