A mangalsutra is an important piece of jewelry for the bride. It marks the start of a new beginning, a new life. Couples and their families spend quite a bit of time looking for ideal wedding rings. But when it comes to buying a mangalsutra, we don’t give this jewel the attention it deserves.
In this post, I’ll share 7 mistakes that you can avoid and find your perfect mangalsutra.
1. Spending little or no time to understand mangalsutra cultural significance
Your wedding checklist says you need a mangalsutra. So you go looking for mangalsutra options. You soon realize that there are many choices. You want to get a mangalsutra that matches you personal style and taste. But the jeweler, your parents or in-laws inform you of the cultural requirements.
Do you give in and get a piece that’s traditional or would you rather the one that you’ll love wearing?
For example, it is a must to have black beads in a mangalsutra. You are fine with the black beads but you prefer to have the black bead chain in rose gold. In this case, you can ask for a rose-gold piece rather than being stuck with a gold color that you don’t like. By asking the right questions, take the time to understand the cultural requirements. You’ll surprise yourself that you can still get awesome looking mangalsutras without compromising the cultural significance.
2. Forget to discuss with the bride-to-be on her mangalsutra style preference
As a groom or member of the groom’s family, you’re planning to get the mangalsutra. You find beautiful pieces and decide to pick one that you like. You choose the mangalsutra based on your personal taste, budget or available options at that time. But you may forget that your choice is something the bride will have to live with for her lifetime.
The bride wears a mangalsutra on a regular basis after her marriage. If she doesn’t like the style, it’s likely that the mangalsutra will end up in the bank safe or not be worn at all.
For this reason it’s important to pick a piece that matches the bride’s style preferences.
3. Choosing a piece that you can only wear on Indian outfits
As discussed earlier, a mangalsutra has cultural significance. Therefore the designs also reflect our traditions and heritage. But these days many Indian brides wear western outfits. Particularly if you are working woman in a western country, chances are that you seldom wear Indian clothes to work.
If you can pick a piece that matches western and Indian clothing, you’ll be able to get the most of your mangalsutra. For example, in the picture below, the bride has black beads in the back of the chain making it more versatile and unique.
4. Disregarding mangalsutra design elements
Mangalsutra design elements are the most under-appreciated. When deciding on your mangalsutra, pay attention to the following design elements:
Decide how long you want your mangalsutra chain to be. In some cultures, the chain needs to be long enough that the mangalsutra pendant remains hidden at all times. Chains can be anywhere between 16 inches to 36 inches.
The clasp is the piece of metal that you touch with your fingers every time you want to wear or remove your mangalsutra. Low-quality clasps can break or make it difficult for you to wear or remove the mangalsutra.
c. Gold Metal Color
Gold metal color is generally a personal choice. For instance, you can opt for yellow, white or rose gold.
d. Chain Options
There are many different types of mangalsutra chains. For instance, you can get gold chains with unique designs. Or for black-beaded chains, you can find variety in the size of the beads.
e. Pendant Design
Pendant designs can be traditional or modern. For instance, if you are deciding to go with a diamond mangalsutra, there are hundreds of pendant design options. You can also decide to incorporate gemstones in the pendant.
5. Ignoring diamond, gemstone and gold quality
When purchasing a diamond mangalsutra, you want to consider the quality of diamonds. The four key considerations are diamond cut, color, clarity, and carat. Natural diamonds will color greater than G/H, clarity of VS or higher and excellent cut with 56-57 facets will sparkle a lot.
If you decide to incorporate gemstones, consider both natural precious and semi-precious options. Last but not the least, gold quality is equally important. Gold purity is measured in Karats with the letter “K.” 24K gold is pure gold but not ideal for jewelry making. Many South Indians prefer 22K gold jewelry. Other cultures are open to 14K or 18K gold. Anything less than 14K gold is not recommended.
6. Deciding how often you intend to wear your mangalsutra
Before you make your mangalsutra purchase, decide how you intend to wear it. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “Are you someone who likes to wear a necklace or chain?” If not, you may be better off not investing too much money in your mangalsutra.
If you are looking to wear the mangalsutra everyday wear on western outfits, you may want to consider modern design options. But if you plan to wear it only on special occasions such as family weddings or religious events, traditional designs would be a better choice.
7. Underestimating the power of social media to find creative options
Many people looking for mangalsutras may only visit their local jeweler. This would be perfectly fine. But if you are looking for inspiration and new ideas, leverage the power of social media.
In this post, we’ve covered in great depth the 7 mistakes to avoid when buying a mangalsutra. These mistakes include:
- Spending little or no time to understand mangalsutra cultural significance
- Forget to discuss with the bride-to-be on her mangalsutra style preference
- Choosing a piece that you can only wear on Indian outfits
- Disregarding mangalsutra design elements
- Ignoring gold, diamond and gemstone quality
- Deciding how often you intend to wear your mangalsutra
- Underestimating the power of social media to find creative options
Hope you found great value from this post. Do you have a favorite mangalsutra tip? If so, share in the comments section below.
Models: Monica Patel and Classtige | Mehandi: Mehandi Designer | Photographer: JSK photography | Outfits: Sari Palace | Makeup: Glambox beauty | Hair: GLAM Angelique | Jewelry: Sampat Jewellers