In the September issue of Condé Nast Traveler, Klara Glowczewska, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, remembers the time we spent together in Jaipur with Munnu Kasliwal of the Gem Palace as one of her favorite travel memories:

My Royal Moment

The diamonds were the size of small hen’s eggs, and there were four long strands of them clasped together. I was wearing $2 million around my neck. “These look good with a T-shirt and jeans,” Gem Palace co-owner Munnu Kasliwal suggested as I stared in addled disbelief at my reflection in the mirror. I’ll say.

The table in front of us was strewn casually with countless other private-vault-worthy pieces—the kind of stuff that anywhere but here would not be brought out without a highly visible (and heavily armed) security detail. We’d just walked through rooms where craftsmen sat amid little plastic bags filled with aquamarines, citrines, sapphires, amethysts, rubies, peridots, emeralds, and more, fitting them into rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets.

I didn’t have $2 million to drop, but I still walked out of Gem Palace—jeweler to maharajas and royals from around the world since 1852 and a must-stop on any Indian trip—with not just a lesson in the craft and culture of fine Indian jewelry-making but also plenty of consolation prizes. A blue topaz ring in 24-karat brushed gold, along with matching earrings and three pairs of chandelier earrings, set me back just a few hundred dollars each. And if nothing suits perfectly in the downstairs shop of ready-made pieces, you can pick your stone and choose a setting (matte or shiny, thin or thick, rounded or oval) and collect the finished product a few hours later, all tied up in the Gem Palace’s signature little maroon cloth bag—it’s India’s answer to Tiffany blue (M. I. Rd.; 91-141-237-4175).


Since publishing this entry Munnu has very sadly passed away. We send our love and best wishes to the family, Munnu was an inspiration to us all.

Munnu Kasliwal at the Gem Palace

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