Jewellery inherited by the wife (stridhan) belongs to her and no one can claim it. Similarly, a valuable inherited by the husband is his. But anything passed on to the wife from the mother-in-law belongs to her. While a woman has no rights to marital property without any clear ownership proof, she can stake her claim for all the gifts, including jewellery, land, property and appliances, given by her parents or in-laws at and during the marriage.
Also in cases where some family jewellery has been given to the wife, there are chances that the husband’s family may want it back. In such a situation, the parties can enter into an agreement. In a mutual-consent divorce, there can be any adjustment. The wife can agree to return the item or the husband can pay the wife for returning the jewellery. Unlike in immovable property such as a house, one doesn’t need a gift deed to prove ownership of the jewellary. Usually, oral statements are enough to decide who owns the jewellery.
However, in cases where one has to prove ownership in court, it can be done by showing photographs of the person wearing the ornaments. You can also file a complaint against your husband for taking dowry under section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.