New York City has many icons, like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. And Bloomingdale’s, the department store that opened shop in 1872 and this year is marking its 150th anniversary.
“To celebrate, we desired to create iconic pieces that paid homage to our rich history,” Marissa Galante Frank, the store’s fashion director of accessories and beauty, wrote in an email. “For the first time ever, we created a jewelry suite that is comprised of 150 carats of diamonds” — to echo the store’s 150 years in business.
The retailer turned to the jeweler Harakh Mehta to create the three-piece set. The designer “first caught our attention when he was named the exclusive diamantaire for the 2019 Le Bal des Débutantes in Paris,” Ms. Galante Frank wrote, referring to organizers of the French event tapping Mr. Mehta for his skills as a diamond specialist.
Mr. Mehta, whose Harakh line already had a presence in several Bloomingdale’s locations throughout the United States, said he agreed immediately. “When they announced they were celebrating their 150th anniversary, we knew that we just had to be part of their joyous occasion,” the Indian jeweler said in an email, noting that in his native language Gujarati, his name means joy.
The designs for the earrings, bracelet and necklace were “inspired by my childhood memories of driving up the hills during the monsoons and bathing in the waterfalls,” Mr. Mehta wrote before describing each piece.
The earrings, which total 18 carats, were designed as dangling clusters of brilliant-cut round, pear- and marquise-shaped diamonds, interspersed with Harakh’s signature rose-cut round and pear-shaped stones. “They are set in specially created modulated settings to represent the energy and flow of the cascading water,” Mr. Mehta wrote.
The 32-carat bracelet had two straps of diamonds holding a central oval cluster set with brilliant-cut round, oval- and pear-shaped stones, interspersed with rose-cut gems in various shapes. And completing the trio was a V-shaped necklace, which has the same combination of brilliant- and rose-cut diamonds in rounds, pears, marquises and ovals, totaling 100 carats.
To make the jewelry weigh as little as possible, Mr. Mehta wrote, the diamonds were set in an 18-karat mix of white gold and a palladium-based alloy.
Finding the right diamonds wasn’t easy, the jeweler wrote: “The search for these 150 carats quite literally traversed six continents over nearly 12 months.”
In a later email he wrote: “There are certified Canadian diamonds. Also, there are diamonds in special shapes, cut and polished from rough diamonds sourced from the mines of Brazil, Africa and Australia. There are also other diamonds that were bought from the bourses of Antwerp, Mumbai and New York, which we recut.”
The suite has been displayed at various Bloomingdale’s stores, and is now available for sale as a set or as individual pieces. The high jewelry department at the retailer’s 59th Street flagship in New York has information on prices.
The project was all worth the effort, Ms. Galante Frank wrote: “Diamonds signify the longevity and brilliance of our brand. Diamonds are forever.”