Inspired by the vast treasures of Rajasthan and Gujarat, jewelry brand HARAKH combines ancient techniques to create unique pieces that are crafted with a strong spiritual influence. Becoming the official jewellers for le Bal, Paris 2019 gave further credence to their craftsmanship
By: Niyoshi Shah
Posted on: December 17, 2019
The prestigious le Bal proved to be the perfect setting to introduce the world to “HARAKH”, a Mumbai-based luxury jewellery brand headed by fourth-generation Indian diamantaire and its namesake - Mr Harakh Mehta. His name literally translates to joy, and that is a sentiment rooted deeply into the brand’s dynamic and spiritual approach to jewellery making. A reticent homage to life’s precious moments of joy.
With prices ranging from $20,000 to $1 million or more, ‘Peacock,’ ‘Sunlight,’ ‘Raindrop,’ ‘Cascade’, ‘Ghungroo’ and ‘Haveli’ are the six existing collections that have been designed since the brand’s inception in 2016. Not more than six limited edition pieces comprise each line, since the design and creation process takes months and - in some cases - even years. Indeed, the minute detailing in each piece is excruciating! With diamonds cascading gracefully, each collection is inspired by Mr. Mehta’s experiences during his childhood holidays spent in his native town of Palanpur, India and are dedicated to a higher purpose of spirituality observed and advocated by his entire family.
For le Bal, Paris 2019, an annual ball which celebrates the coming-of-age of royal and celebrity protegees, Mr. Mehta created up to four custom pieces each for the 20 debutantes, keeping in mind the couture gowns worn by them and their personal style and aesthetics. A mammoth task that took the atelier a record three months to create 60 custom pieces for the invitation-only event. The debutantes included daughters of the Rockefellers, Mellons, Julio Iglesias and Jean-Paul Belmondo. A custom jewellery suite designed for Jane Li, daughter of Chinese action star Jet Li, was based on a life-changing event that forever impacted the course of Jane’s life. The necklace, earrings, and ring feature large pear cut diamonds which represent the brand’s trademark “drop of joy” motif. The piece is further accented by rose cut and brilliant cut natural pink and colorless diamonds.
Along with each precious jewel, the débutantes also received a personal note from Harakh that detailed the jewels’ origin story from concept to creation. Like all HARAKH designs, the pieces that have been specially curated for le Bal are made with the finest materials, and have been infused with divinity and the joyful spirit that distinctly characterizes the brand.
Coming from a spiritual heritage and following a meticulous plant-based diet, Mr. Mehta’s personal experiences with a sustainable lifestyle, eschewing products like leather and silk and adaption of cruelty-free products are intermixed with his appreciation for art and luxury, creating a philosophy of simplistic elegance. A fantastical design lexicon makes every piece from the collection classic and decadent. He has taken inspiration from the shapes of peacocks, frangipani blossoms, raindrops — things that bring him personal joy — and transformed them into rare, tasteful jewels.
Describing how in the 1920s his great-grandfather was a diamond dealer in Palanpur, a small city in west-central India, Mr. Mehta’s family were one of the first Indians to go to Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world, to start a business in the then-booming jewel trade. For decades, the family business sold diamonds to private collectors and jewellers, and today it has emerged as a multimillion dollar business that supplies private label pieces to retailers worldwide.
Talking about his experience in designing and working with craftsmen from India, Mr. Mehta says. “The most critical learning from the entire design experience and the collaboration was the incredible journey of working with my team and the process of creating each piece. When I explained my vision to the artisans, they were instantly able to connect with my philosophy and starting treating the jewel as if it was their own, which is very gratifying. It’s a labour of love and we ensure that it represents our values and has a timeless métier that can transcend generations.”
Mr. Mehta’s ability to look beyond the aesthetics of the pieces he creates adds an extra dimension to the collections. He believes that the beauty of a piece of jewellery goes deeper than simply its appearance and craftsmanship. The brand has expanded at a rapid pace offering designs in emerald, rubies and sapphire. They use fairly mined precious stones of D, E and F colour with the superior IF-VS clarity. The diamonds can be traced back to Russian, Australian, Canadian and Botswana mines.
The coloured diamonds are intense or vivid in grades, unique coloured stones such as hard-to-come-by pigeon blood unheated rubies or Colombian emeralds are used. “While our sensibility is global, we champion ancient Indian techniques. So, our ‘Sunlight’ collection features the ancient pota granulation technique that has been mastered by only a handful of artisans across the country,” says Mr Mehta.
The parent company, Bombay Jewelry Group, were the first jewelry manufacturer in India to be certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council (in 2013). Mr. Mehta has even served on the RJC committee for the past three years. It is also a Fairmined gold licensee brand – an assurance that the gold has been responsibly mined.
A true connoisseur of luxury, Mr. Mehta’s definition brings to light a fastidious expression of opulence. HARAKH revolves around the concept of ‘luxury with a soul’. The story behind each piece is layered, which they aim to highlight at every stage of creation, be it the sourcing of stones or the actual setting. This is why they share a reflection card with every piece which explains the spiritual inspiration behind each design along with a certificate of authentication, ensuring that each piece crafted at the HARAKH atelier stands the test of time.
From Paris’ glittering halls to having a retail presence in New York as well, HARAKH is geared up to conquer the world with its delicate creations.