New release: Vanki Ring

New release: Vanki Ring

The History

Vanki ring, Vanki Ungura, Anju Ungaram, Neli Mothiram, Vadungila, Vanghi Modaram, Pradhanapu Vangaram -- these are just some of the many names given to the curved ring or armband that is a piece of traditional South Indian bridal jewelry. In each of the four states of South India -- and beyond that, within each community -- there is a distinct name, significance, and purpose for this jewelry.

In the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Pradhanapu Vangaram is given to the bride by the groom’s family. In Tamil Nadu, it is a gift to the bride from her maternal family. Some rings are made with rubies, while others are a plain band or set with a single row of diamonds, and yet other designs will incorporate pearls. For the Bunt people who live in Karnataka, the Vandungila is a sacred design that honors the Naga, or serpent, which can be seen as a symbol of protection or fertility. Simply put, the history of this jewelry has evolved distinctly within different communities but is seen as an important wedding tradition and heirloom throughout South India.

Our Take

Here at JPX Jewelry we've designed several highly customized Vanki rings for clients, as well as a semi-customizable collection Vanki ring, to honor this heritage for couples of the Indian diaspora. Founder Jean-Paul first began exploring the history of this traditional jewelry when he designed a Vanki ring for his wife, who is of South Indian descent, in honor of the Vanki armband that her grandmother wore on her wedding day. The Vanki ring brings in some contemporary design aspects yet remains authentic to her heritage, blending two cultures and traditions into one piece of heirloom jewelry.

Jean-Paul’s original design features two center stones -- an Australian argyle chocolate diamond with a beautifully contrasting deep purple spinel -- and Art Deco architectural influences from the General Electric Building in New York City. The stones represent the heritage of both Jean-Paul and his wife, and the architectural influence is a nod to a building in the city that they call home that reminds him of her energetic personality. A tiny ruby at the tip of the ring was a special request that also honors her family.

Another recent custom Vanki design features the same traditional curved shape in 18K gold, inlaid with one carat total of F-color VVS diamonds and topped with a delicate filigree. This ring was commissioned by a man from the South Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife.

JPX’s collection Vanki ring features the signature JPX twisted band in 18K gold with pavé in your choice of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, or sapphires.

Special thanks to our Instagram and TikTok followers for the fascinating stories they shared of the Vanki ring’s significance and various names in their communities.

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