The Birth and Evolution of an Indian Gemstone Industry
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations
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Most of the research on which this book is based took place between august 2005 and January 2006 and was supported by a Senior Short-term Fellowship from the american Institute of Indian Studies. I would like to thank Professor r. K. Pant and the Department of History and Indian Culture, University of Rajasthan, for my institutional affiliation ...
Note on Transliteration
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In order to maximize the accessibility of this book to nonspecialists in South asian studies, I have cut the use of diacritical marks to an absolute minimum. Personal names, place names (such as “Mar-war”), and certain other well-known proper nouns (such as the god-dess “Lakshmi”) are given without diacritics and in the spellings ...
Chapter 1: Introduction
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I have to be honest. I was initially drawn to this subject by its simple romantic appeal, not by some abstract theoretical puzzle, and at first I had no notion of doing any writing about it at all. Research on other topics, mainly connected with Jainism and western India’s trading communities, had led me to the city of Jaipur in 1990 and to a street ...
Chapter 2: Dramatis Personae: Industrial Multiculturalism
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Most twenty‑first century industries in fully industrialized econo-mies—and for that matter many industries in India today—do not need to be anatomized in cultural terms. As an example, between those who work in the executive offices and those who work on the shop floors of General Motors there are certainly class differences and ...
Chapter 3: The Rise of the Emerald Elite
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Visitors encountering Jaipur’s gemstone industry for the first time are likely to conclude that it is old and deeply traditional. Certainly that is exactly what superficial appearances suggest. As we know, the industry is centered in Johari Bazar, the Jewelers’ Market, and this is an area of Jaipur that has been devoted to the jewelry business since ...
Chapter 4: Doing Business
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As is true of most things in life, the manufacturing of gemstones can be done well or badly. In Jaipur, there was a time—in the hey‑day of big profit margins—when doing it badly was doing it well enough. This is no longer true. When done well, it is a complex, absorbing, and challenging undertaking that unites mineralogy, busi‑...
Chapter 5: Contexts
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In the foregoing chapter we examined Jaipur’s gemstone business from the standpoint of how its product is made and traded. We now shift to its cultural and social side. A business—any business—carries a subculture of its own and also takes place within a wider social and cultural context, although the extent to which it is actually shaped by ...
Chapter 6: The Decline of the Emerald Elite
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As a baseline for the changes of the late twentieth century, I propose to look at one of the most characteristic institutions of the gemstone business during its heyday. This was a system of fixed prices that prevailed in the business for many decades, finally coming to an end in the 1980s. It was a feature of the business that was exemplary of ...
Chapter 7: Conclusion
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Is any business ever “just” business? Can a business, that is, be under‑stood as a purely autonomous behavioral domain shaped entirely by logics and norms of its own? The answer to this question is undoubt‑edly “no,” but it is equally true that in this, as in all things, there are matters of degree. As a kind of thought experiment, we can imagine ...
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Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2013