Giving Classics A New Twist
Hailing from a family of diamond manufacturers and traders, it was only natural that MONA SHAH veered towards her family business. Specialising in high- end, 22- karat gold jadau jewellery, and silver encrusted with polkis, Mona is the go- to designer for most brides- to- be. Her only wish is that every woman’s treasure box must have at least one exclusive piece by Gewels.
M umbai-based jewellery designer Mona Shah believes in honing her skills on a continual basis. Mona’s artistic nature has helped her to appreciate various arts other than jewellery crafts. Reading about art, especially temple architecture, is her main source of inspiration.
In her initial days, Mona dived into the subject of jewellery manufacturing and designing and did a short-term jewellery designing course at Hetal Vakil’s Academy of Jewellery Design. As a budding jewellery artist, Mona bagged the first prize at Swaranjali Awards by World Gold Council. The theme was to present Lord Ganesha symbolically, and Mona had used the crown and the trademark trunk as the outlines for motifs in an eternity necklace strung in the traditional Chediya style. That boosted her confidence and she studied manufacturing at S.N.D.T College, Mumbai, and completed the Applied Jewelry Professional™ (AJP) programme at Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Later, she worked as a designer and merchandiser for a couple of years in the industry.
Eight years ago, she founded her brand Gewels by Mona and since then there has been no looking back. Her first-ever collection was inspired by temple jewellery and based on the ras leela (divine dance) of Lord Krishna and Radha. The 22-karat gold collection was accented with diamonds.
Her 22-karat gold jewellery is elaborate yet modern, and and embellished with uncut diamonds and soothing colour gemstone combinations that add a touch of modernity. “I simply love natural pastel shades such as light green emeralds, citrine, topaz and rubies to offset deep coloured gems,” reveals Mona.
And the metal of her choice is gold. “I am in love with gold. The shades of gold, especially the deep, burnished antique finishes, are my favourites. However, over the years, I have also started working with silver to make some exquisite pieces.”
The time consumed to make bridal collections extends up to two months and more. “It takes a long time as various components of a jewellery piece are manufactured in different cities and villages of India, and later put together,” she adds.
Recently, Mona made a thematic jewellery collection for a kathak dancer Komal Shah and her guru Sandeep Mahaveer. The entire line-up of jewellery – accessories from head to toe – was based on the concept of kundalini healing relating to the seven chakras of the body. “We represented the seven
chakras by creating seven navratna (nine-gem) motifs included in her necklaces, head gear, armbands and more. It was a challenging experience,” Mona says. “At other times, I have often made customised jewellery for fashion designers and stylists, who desire to own their dream jewellery. Their faith in Gewels propels me to do even better.”
However, Mona mainly customises jewellery for brides, which includes the bride’s wedding day jewellery and all the other ornaments that she may wear for the other important ceremonies and events related to the wedding. “Every piece of
“I am in love with gold. The shades of gold, especially the deep, burnished antique finishes, are my favourites. However, over the years, I have also started working with silver to make some exquisite pieces... It takes a long time as various components of a jewellery piece are manufactured in different cities and villages of India, and later put together.”
“Every piece of jewellery worn by the bride is intricately fabricated by us for her auspicious day, even taking into consideration her ensembles, skin colour, personality and more.”
jewellery worn by the bride is intricately fabricated by us for her auspicious day, even taking into consideration her ensembles, skin colour, personality and more,” says Mona.
Her customised assignments also extend to making bespoke couture jewels for celebrities including Sonam Kapoor, and many television artists and models. Her ready-to-wear collections are sold at Aza chain stores and its online portal, and she will soon be launching her e-commerce portal.
Had things turned out differently for Mona, she would have been teaching art as she loves to sketch and paint. Travelling, exploring new cities and water diving sports are her other pursuits that occupy her spare time.