In Meenakari jewellery, precious stones are set and then enameled with gold. Historically speaking, the art was introduced to Rajasthan artisans by Raja Mansingh of Amer. He invited Lahore-based skilled artisans to his kingdom, and their intermingling with the locals craftsmen resulted in an amalgam, which came to be known as Meenakari. Meenakari is also a team work, where specialization of skill is of paramount importance. As it is generally done on the reverse side of kundan jewellery, meenakar has to work with goldsmith, engraver or ghaaria, designer or chitteria as well as jadiya.
The art requires higher skill and its intricacy calls for application of technical mindset. In Meenakari, the piece of metal on which the work is to be done, is fixed on a lac stick. Designs of flowers, birds, fish etc are engraved on it. This leads to the creation of walls or grooves, to hold colour. Enamel dust, of required colour, is then poured into the grooves and each colour is fired individually. The heat of the furnace melts the colour and the coloured liquid gets spread equally into the groove. This process is repeated with each colour.
Subsequently, each colour is individually fired. Colours, which are most heat resistant, are applied first, as they are re-fired with each additional colour. Once the last colour has been fired, the object is cooled and burnished or polished with agate. The depth of the grooves, filled with different colours, determines the play of light. Silver and gold are used for the base of Meenakari. Choice of colours, in case of silver, has to be green, yellow or blue, as these are the colours which stick with it. As for gold, all the colours can be applied to it and this is also the reason why the metal is preferred for Meenakari jewellery.