Silver jewellery is the most ancient way of personal adornment. Indian jewellery is specially known the world over for its distinctive richness and variety in design, and in India, Rajasthan has for several centuries stood at the apex of the areas known for their jewellery industry.
Silver objects are usually made of an alloy, pure silver is rare as it is soft and lustrous white in colour and the silversmith adds base metal to make the item durable. The basic techniques silversmiths use for fashioning jewellery has changed very little since ancient times. Workmanship varied from smith to smith, but the silver content was higher in earlier times than it is in pieces made today. Before being fashioned into jewellery, silver must be worked into sheets or wire. Tiny geometrical shapes cut out of very thin sheet silver often provide relief decoration, these minute shapes are affixed to larger, thicker, geometrical beaten silver components. Each silversmith has his own method for making traditional jewellery. Shapes are usually cut first and then the embellishment is applied and fused. The beauty of the silversmith's final product depends on cleansing. From the moment the silversmith begins work on the glowing silver bar until the final product, the ornament's component parts have been rough and discoloured. The pieces are soaked in a stripping solution and then scrubbed and finally polished.