Pink Meenakari is a crystal form of glass fused with metal oxides like silver, gold, copper, and zinc. The Meenakari of Banaras is identified by its pink colour and is known as Gulabi Meenakari. The pink-painted enamel style was brought to Benares by the Persian enamellists around the early 17th century during the Mughal era. This enamelling style reached its peak of perfection at the Persian Court at Isfahan, Iran, during the Qajar dynasty. The art of Meenakari was flourishing until about 100 years ago. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of craft persons pursuing the craft today, who work on gold and silver enamel jewellery and other objects.
Of the few remaining enamellists, says that unlike the vibrant enamelling in reds, greens and blues of Jaipur and New Delhi, where the white enamel is left stark, the Banarasi craftsmen delicately add pink to the predominant white enamel. The chased and engraved areas are filled in with enamel, which is composed of chemicals like those contained in glass. Its base is vitreous with a small percentage of metallic oxide that is used as a colourant, and hollow silver forms are filled in with lac to give them weight. For enamelling, the Meena (enamel) is finely ground and mixed with water. A few drops of rose attar (essential oil) is added to help fuse the enamel. The water is then soaked up by a cotton wick and the piece is fired in a small electric kiln. The enamels fuse at different temperatures, so they are fired depending on the hardness needed.