04 September, Kolkata
The West Bengal Government, in collaboration with the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), has initiated the process of getting a geographical indication (GI) registration, conventionally known as a GI tag, for Kolkata-made jewellery.
‘Kolkatti’ has been proposed as the name for this unique brand of jewellery. Along with GJEPC, IIT, Kharagpur, is also providing the technical help in preparing the documents for bagging the tag.
A GI is a name or sign used on certain products that correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (like a town, region, or country). GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
The reason for going for the registration of Kolkata-made jewellery is that such jewellery has a major demand in the Middle East, US and UK markets.
These are mainly handcrafted, and are known for the fine craftwork of artisans. On the other hand, for the very reason of being popular, it is seen that many people are selling jewellery, improperly branded as Kolkata jewellery. Hence, the State Government, supported by the GJEPC, has taken this initiative.
The art of jewellery-making in Bengal and the designs that are considered to be Bengali are unique. Examples include the art of making bala, bangles in which lacquer is used to fill the insides to give it strength, jaroa jewellery, in which precious stones are set in 18-carat gold, tikli, forehead ornament worn by Bengali brides on the central parting of their hair, laced with a string of pearls and studded with precious stones or beautiful gold-and-silver designs, and kaan, traditional ornament worn on the ear, made up of thin sheets of gold or silver that cover the entire ear.