Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 12am

Flavors of India

Sights and sounds of Jaipur, the colorful Pink City

Mia emeralds25Sample emerald layout from GJEPC exhibitionIf you’ve never been to India, you’re missing out on a treasure-trove of colorful experiences! During my recent trip to Jaipur, attending an Expo hosted by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), I connected with our current gem factories and developed new supplier relationships. While immersed in the colors and culture of the “Pink City” I enjoyed a rich and fascinating wealth of experiences.

The Indian people are known for their generosity and hospitality and this trip was not a disappointment! It began with the gracious hosting of the GJEPC at the 5 star Meridien hotel, complete with pool and spa, where, having been greeted at the airport, we were welcomed with garlands of marigolds and treated to daily luncheons, dinners and cocktail parties. Extending a few days after the official conference, I visited existing and new suppliers who graciously escorted us wherever we wished, invited us into their homes for dinner and to meet their families, gave us tours of their factories and in general were the perfect hosts!

Mia blue topazHand carved 31 carat blue topaz by Jaipur master craftsmen. Set in original design 18k and diamond pendant by Mia Katrin.Driving through the streets of old city Jaipur, you’re overwhelmed by a riot of color. Families of 3 or 4 on mopeds weaving in and out of traffic, an occasional camel sitting by the side of the road, or a wedding procession with the groom arriving on a white horse and the wedding party dancing in the street are everyday sights.

The “Old City” is the original Jaipur, contained in a walled area replete with back alleyways so narrow they have to be navigated by foot or on moped. The “Pink City” is known for its signature pink architecture. Huge slabs of polished marble and granite are everywhere, regularly serving as flooring and staircases.

Jaipur is known for handicrafts in general including textiles in addition to gems and jewelry. You can go into a local shop, pick out a beautiful hand printed silk or cotton fabric and have a dress custom made by the shop’s tailor in two hours!

Street vendors are everywhere with carts full of ripened papayas, mangoes and other delectables. Foreigners are advised to stick to food prepared at the larger restaurants and hotels (and avoid tap water), but at the major hotels and restaurants, you can order from a huge array of flavorful curries and local Indian dishes as well as more traditional “Western” selections.

With many thanks to the GJEPC for a fascinating and productive journey. I’m looking forward to returning soon!

Mia grindingJaipur craftsmen grind gems such as peridot and tourmaline and mix with water to make a pigment paste used in exquisitely detailed paintings.


MIA palaceJal Mahal, Palace in Lake in Jaipur. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” for its distinctive pink architecture.

Mia hotelLobby of Le Meridien Hotel, site of GJEPC conference. Marble and flowers everywhere!Note: India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) sponsors several annual trips yearly. Their next event for buyers is the India USA Jewellery Meet Up Event in Mumbai, Sept. 10 - 12, 2019 followed by the India Diamond Meet Up Event Oct  15 - 17, 2019 with suppliers of natural loose diamonds. “Buyers” are defined as designers, wholesalers, importers, retailers - especially those with 5+ storefronts - and manufacturers looking for loose gemstones and/or private label unbranded resources for finished diamond or mixed stone jewelry. GJEPC also hosts retailers who are the head of merchandising discussion groups or buying groups, industry associations or organizations. These retailers should be able to attend and recommend other members to attend future events to build attendance.

For more information or to apply to attend a future conference, contact the exclusive USA agents for GJEPC: Nancy Robey, The Nancy Robey Partnership, Inc. 917-833-8248, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Holly Granofsky, 917-513-5545, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 100 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877-539-3569, facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC, subscribe to her YouTube channel www.youtube.com/channel/UC2B-53XBuB_HD5-bofc5jAA