Jhumka Designs for the Modern Desi Girl

Jhumka, Jhumki, Jhimki … sounds quite like a peppy pop anthem. But hey, what’s an Indian Jewellery box without a classic pair of Jhumkas? So, here we are to find out all about the latest trends in ageless Jhumka Designs.

Like most traditional Indian jewellery design, the Jhumka or Jhumki has centuries of history. While the basic definition sticks to its dome shaped dangler enclosing beads or pearls, Jhumka designs vary from the North to South of our ancient culture. The base metal has its share of variations too. The most common among them is of course gold. But Rajasthani Meenakari enamel designs, Gujarati Gypsy style oxidised silver danglers, Kashmiri ear chains, Hyderabadi pearl drops, Kundan stone work and Crystal chandelier Jhumka designs aren’t far behind.

Even as antique Jhumka designs continue to catch the modern women’s fancy, the new age fashionistas are always up for something new. Notable among these new age variations are lightweight Quilling Jhumkas, fusion Jhumka designs, asymmetrical chandelier Jhumkas, Jhumka bangles, Hoop Jhumkas and such. It would be hard NOT to find a Jhumka design that matches your style sense. Let’s introduce you to both ends of the spectrum — from trending traditional gold Jhumkas to innovative Jhumka designs that capture the best of both worlds.

Ageless Gold Jhumka Designs

Ageless Gold Jhumka Designs

India cannot thrive without its Gold. More than an obsession for wealth, Gold has always been revered as an auspicious element of our celebrations. Jhumkas in their most popular form is a gold dome shaped dangling earring. This view is debatable, considering the inevitable regional preferences. But an antique Jhumka in gold will always remain ageless in every Indian woman’s Jewellery box.

In most of the Northern regions, Jhumka designs are almost entirely made of gold – single or multi-layered. Gold tassels often take the place of beads/pearls enclosed within the dome. The dangler itself could be an umbrella like semi-circular dome or a base open pyramid/cone. Within these dangling cupolas hang a bunch of beads, pearls, or gold tassels as mentioned before. Variations in design could also have a large gold drop or single pearl encased under the umbrella-like dangler. Multi-layered Gold Jhumkas can feature anywhere between two to seven (or more) domes/cones. Lace like tassels make these Gold chandeliers brush the wearer’s shoulders; thus adding to their charm.

Down South, these traditional earrings are endearingly called Jhumki. On a wider context, they may be referred to as Bharatnatyam Jhumkas. This name is often attached to stone encrusted heavy Gold Jhumka designs with attached ear chains called Maati that are hooked onto your hairdo. In truth, there isn’t a sea of difference between Jhumkas and Jhimkis; basically, they are one and the same. The variety can be attributed to the size, weight, embellishments and accompaniments of Jhumka design.

Gold by itself can impress anyone beyond measure. However, staying true to our extravagant Indian tastes, there are several techniques and embellishment styles that make Gold Jhumkas irresistible. The finest among them is intricate filigree work depicting motifs from nature and fantasy. Swirls and curls to finely woven net patterns adorn gold filigree Jhumka designs. Pearls as well as precious/semi-precious stones are also used to enhance the appeal of Gold Jhumka designs. Kundan is another traditional gold jewellery work that is popular among Jhumka designs of all times. Kundan Gold Jhumkas are ideal for bridal wear or as statement pieces for a special occasion.

Gold Jhumkas are often paired up with traditional Indian attire like Sarees or lehengas. But let’s think outside the box and see how you can incorporate a statement gold Jhumka into your fusion wear or ultra modern ensemble.

black dress and minimal makeup and jhumka

Here,  this classic combination of black and gold,  for example. The basic black dress and minimal makeup helps the statement Jhumka to stand out from the rest.  It is evident here that the heavy pearl and gemstone laden Jhumka design is in focus.  You can also pick out an exquisite multi-layered gold jhumka to get this look. Remember to tone down everything else to shower all the attention on your statement earring.

Silver Jhumkas to Spice Up your Ethnic Style

Silver Jhumkas to Spice Up your Ethnic Style
Silver Jhumkas to Spice Up your Ethnic Style
Silver Jhumkas to Spice Up your Ethnic Style

During Navratri Dandiya,  the state of Gujarat gets into a fun frenzy with music and dance. While the colourfully attired women swirl past you, keep an eye out for their jewellery. The traditional Gujarati silver Jhumkas have quite a distinction from the rest – with its conical shaped danglers and oxidised silver base metal. Adding to the rustic charm are bells and filigree detailing. Now of course, no one sticks to the traditional Jhumka designs and try to add a twist of their own style to the basic pattern. And thus we have both sterling silver and oxidised silver Jhumkas with colourful enamelling, pearl and stone encrusting,  and a few additional details like Kashmiri style ear chains that graze your shoulders or maati chains that take the accessorizing up to your hairdo.

Silver Jhumkas to Spice Up your Ethnic Style

See how Nayantara amped up her laid-back saree look with a gorgeous oxidised silver Jhumka. The antique look of the heavy Jhumka design wonderfully compliments her elegant yellow saree.

Colour Rich Enamelled/Studded Jhumkas

Rajasthani Meenakari enamelling,  Kundan,  semi precious or precious stone inlays,  Hyderabadi Pearls and more such decorative techniques enrich the aesthetic quality of your favourite Jhumka Designs.  Nature inspired as well as paisley, floral and peacock motifs are common components in Jhumka designs. A variety bright colours,  reds, yellows,  greens and blues, are often used in jewellery enamelling. These enamelled Jhumkas are versatile enough to be paired up with your ethnic as well as western outfits.

Colour Rich Enamelled Studded Jhumkas

Try taking your eyes off this antique enamelled gold and pearl Jhumka from the 1900s. Needless to say,  these would cost you quite a fortune. But no harm enjoying the beauty of the exquisitely crafted Jhumka. If the fine pearl tassels do not entice you,  be sure to have a good look at the blue enamel work and crystal encrusting on the dome. I am already dreaming of pairing this up with an elegant champagne gown or frock suit.

Light as a Breeze Quilling Jhumkas

Not too long ago, quilling took Indian homemakers and DIY hobbyist by storm. The paper rolling technique is nothing new; quilling has been around for quite a while. Ask a design student and they would have stories to tell you about vibrant paper strips and intricate designs on paper. But quilling really took off among the masses with quilling earring DIY kits flooding your local art or fancy jewellery shops. Soon enough,  quilling jewellery making tutorials took over the internet as well.

One of the easiest and thus most popular jewellery design to quill out is the quilling Jhumka. The variety in colours,  a sense of making your own design and the lightweight ease made quilling jhumkas a hit among college goers as well.

If you really want to make heads turn with a quilling Jhumka, take up the challenge and quill yourself something unique like this.  The beauty of this quilling jhumka design lies in its intricate details. The multi coloured layers and the golden beads are pleasing too.

Apart from quilling, lightweight fancy jhumka designs are also available in a variety of materials like yarn, silk or jute thread too.

Crystal Jhumkas and Other styles

Jhumkas are as desi as it can get, but there is no harm inducing a bit of contemporary aesthetics to it. With these twists in designs, Jhumki designs have made it to the international arena – on red carpets and ramps as well. Crystal chandelier earrings often borrow the basic Jhumka design. The semi-circular hangings are dressed with fine filigree work or long tasselled ends. Hyderabadi pearl Jhumkas are another variety that gets a lot of love from all over. You can read all about

Hyderabadi Pearl Jewellery in our previous post.

Vintage and antique Jhumkas also have many admirers in the contemporary fashion world. While stone encrusted designs and large pearls are the show stealers, unique shapes and sizes also steal any hearts. Hoop Jhumkas are a favourite among the fashionistas. The heavy base is replaced by breezy hoops holding the dangling cupolas. Bunches of pearls and beads are added to up the style. Cuffed Jhumkas designs are another variety that is catching up on the popularity — especially as bridal wear.

Asymmetrical crystal Jhumkas are another popular style. These are often inexpensive fancy jewellery that you can pick for a sundowner or cocktail party and pair up with a stylish dress or salwar suit. The Kashmiri chain Jhumkas are ideal statements for an evening look with class. Pair them up with a low cut dress  and you are ready to be the show stopper. You can also match them up with ethnic outfits for the desi vibe.

Let me leave you with this Kashmiri Jhumka that is sure to take your breath away. The intricate detailing and colours are a must have in your precious jewellery box. You can easily pair this up with a neutral or bright shaded ensemble to maximize style.

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