Above: The Gem Palace in Jaipur

Jaipur is the gemstone capital of the world, and large rubies, sapphires and emeralds can often be purchased here for much less than they would cost in the West. Although the city contains innumerable jewelry stores and workshops, a visit to the famous Gem Palace is still mandatory. Founded in 1852 by the Kasliwal family, former court jewelers to the Mughal emperors, it is housed within the atmospheric family haveli. In a series of showrooms, glass-fronted wooden display cases overflow with a treasure trove of both traditional and contemporary pieces. On the walls, photographs of American presidents rub shoulders with Hollywood’s finest.

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