The highest gold consuming people in India are South Indians. They have a unique inclination towards gold that can not be over looked while traveling to Tamilnadu or Karnataka. Even people with minimal resources believe in securing a moderate amount of gold jewellery. According to an eminent Kolkata jeweller, everyday use of gold by South Indians is also higher than rest of Indian states. May be it is because of their traditional faith that wearing gold ensures wealth and prosperity in livelihood.
A south Indian bride is literally wrapped in gold. Though this may seem unrealistic, however this is very much a true fact. Long gold garlands are also common in the south Indian community. However it must be noted here that Tamilians avoid wearing gold anklets as they regard gold as Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) and do not find it well thought of to have it touch their feet. Alike many other conservatism is prominent in the south Indian jewellery and also in the practice of wearing them.
Designer gold jewellery in south India also has an immense social significance. People of affluent class store a treasure of solid gold ornaments which acts as a security investment. Generally south Indian people loves to flaunt their generosity with the precious metal. Exquisite design and elaborate crafting makes the south Indian jewellery different from other traditional ornaments from other parts of India. The south Indian designer jewellery owes its influence to the temple jewellery which has experienced its evolution typical of certain prominent dynasties that promoted the art of jewellery making in south India.
Among the popular motifs, flora and fauna is of great significance.
Wedding being an auspicious occasion thus extracts most of temple jewellery motifs and symbols. Some prominent varieties are the kasina sara (chain of gold coins), kadagas (bracelets), kankanas (wristlets), jjejjeranki (armlets), karnapatra (earrings), mookuthi (nose rings), tali (mangalsutra) and kirita mukntas (headgears).
The way a south Indian bride co-ordinates her attire and jewellery is a matter worthy of notice. White south Indian silk saree with a golden brocaded border or a red silk with mango motifs done in gold threads are the two common options amongst the south Indian brides. The look of these extremely elegant and beautiful saris is enhanced with appropriate heavy gold jewellery. For wedding purpose the most important jewelry includes the tali, the kankanas, the waist band and the nagapada thali, manga malla and mookuthi. Bindi which may be done in gold is another essential of the bridal wear.
Apart from the gaudy ornaments the south Indians are inclined towards flaunting natural flowers to adorn their beautiful hair-do. Fusions from other traditional jewellery from different parts of India have inspired designers to etch a new cult in designing traditional south Indian jewellery. Thus south India has much to offer from its treasure.