Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
Taj Mahal Earrings
©2015 by Cynthia Rutledge

Taj Mahal Earrings ©2015 by Cynthia RutledgeThis is a love story that has stood the test of time by leaving behind to the world a tangible dedication of devotion, companionship and passion. The Taj Mahal (Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India), considered to be the Crown of Palaces, was built to house the worldly remains of Emperor Shan Jahan's number three wife, Arjumand Banu Begum (1593 - 1631).

As a testament to the love of his life, Shan Jahan gave his wife the new name of "Mumtaz Mahal", meaning the "Jewel of the Palace" or the "Chosen One of the Palace". Their relationship was well documented by court historians, and Mumtaz Mahal was said to be a great beauty, with tremendous grace and compassion. Shan Jahan considered her to be the love of his life.

Paintings of Mumtaz Mahal show her beautifully dressed in patterned silks and embroidery with hennaed hands and feet. Her gold jewelry included a beautiful fan shaped headdress set with gemstones and hair ornaments encrusted with pearls. Earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets and anklets add the finishing touches to this elegant ladies costume.

My inspiration for Taj Mahal Earrings came from the fabric pattern on Mumtaz Mahal's gown and the beautiful gold jewelry that adorns her in the painting. I think that this painting is a testament to all Indian women and their connection to the glory of fine jewelry.

A CZ set stone embellishes a teardrop three-dimensional shape. Created out of peyote stitch, this teardrop swings at the bottom of this beautiful earring, offering movement. Three smaller teardrop shapes are made similarly, connected to each other, and hang from a beautiful crystal set pair of ear wires.

Skill level: Intermediate

Dimensions: These very lightweight earrings are 3 ¼ inches long counting the ear wire and ½ inch wide at the widest point.

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