Photography by Jana Schuessler, Courtesy of Malka New York.
Diamonds are said to be a symbol of love, purity, and devotion. They are amongst the world’s most coveted stones and have been revered throughout history. Owner Steven Gad and his Operations Director Adam Hecht were kind enough to sit down with me to discuss the journey behind Malka New York and their brilliant diamonds.
If you want to discuss diamonds, Gad is your man. The story of his career began when his mother — at the age of nineteen left her home and moved across the world to marry his father and raise four incredible children. His father would travel for months on end, sourcing the world’s best gemstones, and Gad’s mother – not speaking the language, not knowing the customs – built a home, a family, friendships, and a wonderful life.
For Gad, “Malka is a tribute to my mother. They are both one-of-a-kind, rare as can be, and completely irreplaceable.”
Gad has worked for thirty years in the fine jewelry business. Sourcing diamonds and gems is in his blood. His experience throughout the international wholesale diamond, jewelry manufacturing, and distribution business are vast. Throughout his career, he worked on developing one-of-a-kind and new diamond cuts and designed a patented diamond cut called The Eighty-Eight. He has been successful throughout his lengthy career in the industry, and with his patented diamond cut, “he made it” as a jeweler. Although he was accomplished, it was not enough. Through his immense knowledge and passion for gems, along with sourcing them, he wanted to do something unconventional. This was when he envisioned an entirely new class of natural diamond: the fluorescent diamond, thus creating a whole new category that has and is disrupting the diamond industry on its nail.
When entering the world of Malka, you can hear both Gad and his nephew Hecht. Malka is a family business built on love and legacy. When experiencing Malka, you gain a sense of their pride in what they do and their passion because they share details on how these fluorescent diamonds are selected and explain precisely what defines a fluorescent diamond.
So, what is a fluorescent diamond? It is a diamond emitting a visible glow when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. This effect is brought by the presence of certain trace elements arriving from nitrogen and other impurities within the diamond that absorbs the UV light and re-emit it as visible light. The fluorescence effect can range from a very faint glow to a bright and vivid light, depending on the intensity and color of the fluorescence. What makes these radiant diamonds so special? Only 3% of all diamonds exhibit the strong fluorescence that Malka features in their jewelry making them extremely rare. Gad explains these diamonds are extraordinarily unique and exotic. However, they aren’t well-known or sought out by the public. Gad believes they are high-valued and should be coveted for their rarity and ability to fluoresce. Through Malka New York, he proves his point as these hand-selected glowing gems and beautifully designed jewelry pieces are stunning.
Malka New York’s jewels come in many designs, and our number one favorite is the customized dainty Initial Heart Pendant. You can also find beautiful one-of-a-kind customized rings created by their in-house jewelry designer based in New York. My personal favorite items are the Hamsa Pendants, and the Evil Eye rings. The stunning Hamsa Pendants and Evil Eye rings are a nod to the historical significance of spiritual protection iconography during the Mesopotamian period, which became beloved during the silk road in Judaism, Buddhism, Muslim, and folk traditions, as well as in ancient societies that circle back to family, human connection and our life journeys. To appreciate this, one can look to Gad’s beloved mother – Malka’s namesake — who moved across the world and instilled love, culture, and family traditions to ensure her children and home were strengthened by the love of family and pride of where they came from.