Mirza Ismail Rd. 91-141-237-4175 www.gempalacejaipur.com
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The Kasliwal family, who owns this historic jewelry institution, once served as the court jewelers to Jaipur’s maharajas and maharanis and has been designing baubles for nine generations now. The family’s jewelry emporium is often described as the Tiffany’s of Jaipur. The late Munnu Kasliwal, a scion of the illustrious family, was considered one of the leading fine jewelry designers and gem authorities in the world. His elder brothers and family continues to run the store since his passing. Munnu’s own designs are still highly sought after, and his pieces continue to be on sale at Barneys New York in Manhattan and Los Angeles.
Depending on the day, the treasure trove at Gem Palace can include an emerald bead torsade, a gold snake bracelet, an Egyptian-style lapis-lazuli-and-turquoise necklace and a Burmese ruby necklace sparkling with diamond rondelles. The prices? While there are superb flat-cut tourmaline rings for $450 and pretty citrine rings for $500, more ornate pieces start around $5,000 and up into the stratosphere. You won’t leave empty-handed. Will you find some similar things for less money elsewhere in Jaipur? Definitely. There is a cost associated with the brand; however, you won’t be able to say you bought it at Gem Palace. Our advice: if you are buying something unusual, like the carved elephant cufflinks, go for it. For standard designs like diamond bangles, ropes of ruby beads or semi precious stone rings, shop elsewhere but pay a visit to browse.
- Melissa Biggs Bradley