Hindus: Ornaments are quite popular, particularly in the rural parts more as safe keeping of money than for decoration or aids to beauty. People do not like to spend much on the goldsmith's labour or
skill which fetches no value on the re-conversion of the ornaments into cash. As a result we find that except for in the patronage of princes or potentates, ornaments are but specimens of clumsy form and workmanship. Gold ornaments are simply hammered or punched into shape or rudely engraved and are practically never cast or moulded. They are often made hollow from thin plate or leaf, the interior being filled with lac. So also is the case with silver which is rarely cast.
Ornaments differ in type as they are used by men and women and by boys and girls. They are worn on the head, in the ears, in the nose, round the neck, round the waist, on the legs and on the toes. They differ according to the caste and community and also whether used by males, females, boys and girls.
With Hindus gold is a sacred metal and gold ornaments, on this account, must not be worn below the waist. Brahman and Maratha women will not have ornaments of any other metal but gold for the head and arms. Other castes wear silver. Gold and silver ornaments are also said to have a protective magical effect like that attributed to charms and amulets. The recent tendency in making ornaments, however, is to substitute gold, silver and precious stones by alloys, cultured pearls and synthetic stones.
Male: Males now rarely use ornaments. Yet, it is not quite rare for a sawkar to display a bhikbali in his upper lobe of the ear. It is a gold ring set with pearls and pendant emerald or ruby. He may also use gold salkadis or a pochi on the wrist and a goph or chain-work around the neck. Well-to-do cultivators use gold rings and dandakade of silver above the elbow. A silver chain-work girdle known as Kargota is also used by many, but it is evidently not for display as it is worn round the waist.
Female: Fashions in the ornaments of women have considerably changed during the last fifty or sixty years, the general tendency being to avoid gold ornaments of heavy weight. Head-ornaments have practically gone out of fashion, their place being taken by real or artificial flowers only. Such ornaments as mud, agraphul, ketki-kevda, rakhadi, Chandra-Surya, nag-gonde and gondephule, all of gold, are only remnants in old, rich families and worn on special occasions only.
Ear-ornaments such as kudi and chaukadi generally of pearls and in rare cases of precious stones are current. Bugdya, Balya and kap are out of fashion and sometimes worn by old women, but they are being revived in some revised form. Nose-rings such as nath and besar are worn only on ceremonial occasions by married ladies. Nath of the rich is studded with pearls and gems, that of the poor is made of gold. Besar is smaller in size. Other types of nose-rings are
murni, mugvat, phuli, kanta, chamki and bulak.
Neck-laces and mangalsutras of various types are popular. Black beads are strung together by different patterns of gold chain work with gold heads and cups in the middle and used symbolically by married women as an ornament. Other types of neck-laces in current use are bakulihar, bormal, chandrahar, chaplahar, ekdani, jondhalipot, Kolhapuri saj, tandulipot, mohanmal, putalyanchimal, pohehar etc. Sari thusi, vajratik are now rare. Petya, pota, Lappha, tanmani and pende are made of pearls and are found current only among the rich. Hand-ornaments such as kankne (bangles) of various patterns known as bilori, diamond, double-diamond, hodighat, panchpailu, tinpailu, Calcutta pattern, Delhi pattern and Madras pattern are current; patlya (wristlets) known as jalichya, minyachya, pailuchya, purnachya and todichya all made of gold are current. Costlier bangles studded with pearls, diamonds and precious stones are used by the very rich only.
Armlets such as bajubands or vakis of the types known as hatrichya, modvakya, rudragath, tulabandi made of gold or silver are also worn. Foot and leg ornaments are usually made of silver and they are tode, tordya, Sakhlya and Vale. Masolya, jodvi, phivi, Salle are silver toe-rings, Lower class women always use them.
Child ornaments such as bindlya, mangatya and kiditode are wristlets and goph, honsali, sakli, taiti are neck-laces made either of gold or silver. Sakhli and sarpoli are used round the waist and ghungurwale and wale are worn on the ankles.