(Last Updated on : 06/01/2014)
Later, due to the advent of the Sunga dynasty, the jewellery became a little refined. In the sculptures of the period references show us that the material used most frequently were gold and precious stones like corals, rubies, sapphires, agates, and crystals. Pearls and beads of all kinds were used plentifully including those made of glass. Certain ornaments were common to both sexes, like earrings, necklaces, armlets, bracelets and embroidered belts. Apart from these forms of jewellery, the only material evidence of a piece of Mauryan jewellery is a single earring found at Taxila dated second century BC, which is similar to Graeco-Roman and Etruscan Jewellery. They are as follows:
These were of three types viz, a simple ring or circle called Kundala, a circular disc earring known as dehri and earrings with a flower-like shape known as Karnaphul.
These were also of two kinds; a short one called Kantha, which was broad and flat, usually gold, inlaid with precious stones, and a long one, the lambanam. These chain or bead necklaces were sometimes three-to-seven stringed and were named after the number of strings of which they were composed. At the centre of each string of beads was an amulet for warding off evil forces.
These were of gold and even the armlets made of silver beads were worn on the upper arm, and were occasionally studded with precious stones.
These were very often made of square or round beads of gold, and richly embroidered cloth belts completed the male ensemble.
Women, in addition, wear girdles called mekhala, a hip belt of multi-stringed beads, originally made from the red seed kaksha.
Anklets & Rings:
All women also wore anklets and thumb and finger rings. The rings were plain and crowded together on the middle joints of the fingers. Anklets were often of gold in this period, though silver was more common. They could be in the form of a simple ring, Kara, a thick chain, sankla, oran ornamental circle with small bells called ghungru.
Forehead ornaments for women were quite common and worn below the parting of the hair and at the center of the forehead. These consisted of thin plate of gold or silver stamped in various patterns, as well as a star-shaped sitara and bina. And a tiny ornament called bindi.