Prerna Kumari

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2011, 12:00am


Who started it? Indian-born, Hong Kong-bred and London-educated Prerna Chainani launched her exclusive line of Indian-inspired jewellery in New York, in 2003, originally selling exclusively at Neiman Marcus. The name of the brand sets the tone for the authentic bejewelled pieces: Prerna (Sanskrit for 'inspiration') and Kumari (Sanskrit for 'princess') are indicative of the designer's obeisance to a bygone regal era. The pieces are resplendent with chunks of precious stones of the kind that adorned India's royal dynasties.

'[The brand is inspired by] a mixture of items I found in my mother's jewellery boxes, which were more 70s, and the really traditional stuff from a previous century, the inheritance items,' says Chainani, who has recently relocated to Hong Kong from the United States. 'The idea was to modernise it, to make it more relevant to my life in New York.'

The brand has been featured in fashion magazines such as W, Surface and InStyle.

Why we love it: finely crafted, with rose-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and tourmalines all set in 22-carat gold, the jewellery evokes a sense of history, but with a fresh approach. Hand-crafted by artisans and goldsmiths in Jaipur, in Rajasthan state, and Maharashtra, with stones picked from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the intricate designs are a hybrid of Western-inspired jewellery (chandeliers, cuffs and hoop earrings) with the patterns and styling of Hindu regalia combined with Arabesque swirls. The Asiatic feel of the chunky bracelets, neck pieces and art deco-style cuffs can be mixed and matched with any outfit, be it Occidental or Oriental.

What we'd pick: the 22-carat gold necklace studded with multicoloured tourmalines, rose-cut diamonds, quartz crystal and hand-painted enamel (above; HK$224,000) should adorn a swan-like neck and makes a stop-and-stare statement piece. Or else, there's the art deco-inspired gold cuff (left; HK$187,000), which glisters with white and coloured diamonds, blue and pink sapphires, peridot, amethysts and citrine stones.

Where can you get it? Prerna Kumari jewellery can be bought online at or by direct appointment with Chainani (tel: 9034 6476; e-mail: