Another stunning example of this is the almost black jade in the bird-head pommel hilt of a Deccan 17th century dagger that is inlaid with white jade and rubies with the white jade making up petals and leaves.
At the weekly DAI lecture that was followed by the book launch, Kaoukji stated that these weapons are a testament to the legendary opulence and refinement of Indian courts and especially the uninterrupted Indian tradition of exceptional craftsmanship.
She referred to the skill and mastery of the craftsmen pointing to the small surface area worked on in another set of dagger sidebars seen on a katar, that was embellished with fleur-de-lis decorations, palmettes, and engraved details.
The lower end of the hilt of a bird-head of a probably Deccan late 16th-17th century dagger, is similarly breathtaking as the cells that hold the emerald are octagonal at first and while the pattern tapers, they become hexagonal.
Although the prevailing view is that diamond crystals set in their natural state only occurred around the 17th century, an ancient ring in the collection demonstrates that natural diamond crystals were used in the area since antiquity, she stated.
Among Indian gem settings later replicated or adapted to produce a similar effect by renowned European jewellers, was a technique whereby gemstones are packed tightly side by side and held in place by the outlining gold, allowing jewellers to create the effect of an uninterrupted field of colour.