Krishna Choudhary rethought the traditional limitations of high jewellery upon the creation of his first collection in 2019. Santi Jewels, named after his father Santi Choudhary, who was founder of Royal Gems and Arts and respected for his exquisite collections of Mughal jewels, intertwines a sharply modern aesthetic throughout pieces rich in heritage.

Choudhary draws on this heritage in the 12 to 15 works he produces a year, which are then shown in private appointments or presentations. Encompassing Golconda diamonds, Colombian emeralds, spinels, Kashmir sapphires and natural pearls, the unique pieces draw on the brilliant spirit of the Maharajahs.

emerald ring by Santi Jewels, part of a selling exhibition at Phillips

Now, Choudhary is introducing his work to a wider market with a new private selling exhibition at Phillips, London. A thematic curation groups antique items from the family collection together, with precious pieces including turban ornaments, chess pieces and a Mughal carved jade box revealing his inspirations.

‘You’re connecting dots from history to contemporary pieces, it’s something really spectacular and people don’t get to really see it or experience it,’ says Choudhary on why now was the right time to open the archives to the public. ‘We thought it’d be a nice opportunity for people to experience, to bring the idea of craftsmanship to them with dignity, and to show how you can have a historical piece and contemporary piece next to each other, having that connection.’

diamond earrings

A collaboration with Flawless, Phillips’ private jewellery sales department, and Vivarium by Vivienne Becker, has resulted in a creative curation. ‘Vivienne Becker is an enthusiast – she’s so knowledgeable in what she does,’ Choudhary adds. ‘If I’m talking about a historical reference, she would just get it. She’s also been very supportive in bringing this more contemporary side.’

The exhibition holds a deep significance for the jeweller. ‘It is emotional to put your work out in public – it’s very empowering, but I am a bit nervous.’ §

pink necklace by Santi Jewels
Photography: Coppi Barbieri