Manjusha Jewels designer, Jyotsna “Joey” Singh’s royal heritage was an element of her past that she mostly kept to herself—until she began to create jewelry and revealed that one of her greatest inspirations had its roots in a history far grander than anyone could have imagined. Growing interest ensued, along with opportunities for her to share her story and designs in top museums and galleries around the US.
When you grow up knowing that your grandfather was one of the most well-known and opulent rulers of his time, it’s bound to arouse a sense of pride and duty to keep your family history alive. While Joey didn’t discover her passion for jewelry design until late in her career, she enjoyed immediate success that she attributes largely to her grandfather, Maharajah Bhupinder Singh, and his collection of crown jewels.
Among his most legendary jewels are The Patiala Necklace and The Patiala Ruby Choker that once graced the Maharaja himself and his consorts. Both pieces were created exclusively for Joey’s grandfather by the House of Cartier. The Patiala Necklace alone boasted nearly 3000 diamonds and remains the largest single commission ever created by Cartier.
The fascination with Indian royal history and the opulence of these extraordinary treasures can be seen through the enormous crowds drawn to visit exhibitions where their magnificence is displayed and can be witnessed up-close. Some of the Maharaja’s most valuable crown jewels have either found their way back to Cartier or are now part of private collections—The Al Thani Collection among them.
When the East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from the Al Thani Collection exhibition came to the Legion of Honor Museum in 2018, Joey was ecstatic to see some of her grandfather’s most cherished possessions, conjuring up deep emotions. And because the royal jewelry is coveted but out of reach for most—unless you’re Sheik Al Thani—the museum commissioned Joey to create a collection specifically for the exhibit so that guests could own a piece of history through her designs.
Joey created a collection that combined the grandeur of her grandfather’s jewels, the visual history of India, and her unique design style. This wasn’t the first time either, Joey has been designing collections and offering her jewelry through museums and art house trunk shows and gift shops since the start of her career. Manjusha Jewels' designs have sold at The Getty and Getty Villa, The Metropolitan Opera House, the San Francisco Symphony, The Asian Art Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and more.
The designs that Joey has created over the years for cultural exhibits, special events, and for Manjusha Jewels’ store collections—such as her latest Luna Collection—have morphed over the years, showing her growth as a designer, but her inspiration has always been and remains embedded in her rich family history which she continues to share with the world today.
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