FrontRunners: In Rare Form

Jewelry designer Nina Runsdorf (212.382.1243) scours the diamond market for nontraditional stones—thin slices or rough rocks—that give her pieces a modern look. "Organic-looking diamonds lend themselves to a more casual jewelry style," says Runsdorf, who was formerly an accessories designer for several fashion houses, including Ralph Lauren. Her fashion background is apparent in novel design concepts such as her diamond fringe ring, which is composed of about 50 small diamond beads attached to concealed wires that allow the stones to move back and forth, like the fringe on a dress. Runsdorf started her business in 2005 by creating custom-made designs at her New York studio and then introducing her eponymous collection of pieces, which range from about $5,000 to $500,000.

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