Rapaport Magazine
Style & Design

Inspired by India

Fourth-generation diamantaire Harakh Mehta draws on childhood memories and national symbols to fashion evocative high jewelry.

By Sonia Esther Soltani

Sitting in his office in Mumbai, Harakh Mehta is proudly showing off the technical feats his craftspeople have achieved with one of his high-jewelry brand’s dazzling Haveli bracelets. Inspired by the arches of traditional Indian palaces, the fully flexible bracelet centers a cluster of round and pear-shaped diamonds that conjure up this architectural shape.

Creating the one-of-kind piece was a “labor of love,” says Mehta during a Zoom presentation of some of his signature jewels and latest collection. “It took the better part of four months [to make it], simply because we had to get the links all lining up together. It can only be trusted with one or two artisans who have the skills to do it.”

To reach the perfect proportions, lightness and movement, the stones were reshaped and recut to exacting standards.

Traditional techniques

Diamonds are a family passion for Mehta, whose great-grandfather started a cutting house that grew into jewelry manufacturing some 30 years ago under his parents’ management. Mehta sees the launch of his Harakh brand in 2017 as the “next logical step.” The designer only uses D-, E- and F-color stones for his high-jewelry creations and often takes inspiration from cherished childhood memories. One of his earlier collections, Peacock, is an homage to the bird, the national emblem he saw in the Indian countryside as a boy. Using a proprietary linking technique, the diamond-heavy jewels are designed to replicate the weightlessness and softness of a peacock feather. His Cascade series, meanwhile, references memories of bathing in waterfalls during family vacations in the hills. For these pieces, the designer used rose and brilliant cuts that flow elegantly, evoking aquatic movement and energy.

Mehta received no formal training; he learned everything about drawing from his mother Nayna, “the family’s creative genius.” But he aims to bring Indian jewelry to new heights by revisiting traditional cuts and techniques. “Our rose cuts are specially measured for the amount of thickness and faceting,” he explains. “We’ve taken the Indian rose cut to a whole new level, with its own character, its own definition, so that it stands proudly. There is no silver plate backing it, and there’s none of that stuff hiding all its flaws. We are exposing the full transparency of the product.”

Award-winning collections

This ambitious vision has already earned him the esteem of collectors and luxury professionals. Last year, the brand won the Rising Star award for jewelry from the Fashion Group International (FGI) and was nominated in the sustainability category.

In 2020, the designer focused on launching a lower-price-point jewelry range called Sunlight, which features a special granulation technique called porta. The collection consists of easy-to-layer pieces such as bangles and pendants, as well as showstopping diamond-set rings.

Whether it’s high jewelry or more affordable creations, Harakh retains its elevated craftsmanship and thoughtful use of diamonds.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - February 2021. To subscribe click here.

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