Best of the Best 2011: Jewelry Designers: Cindy Chao

    Taiwanese designer Cindy Chao (886.2.2711.7718, www.cindychao.com) is known to spend more than two years on a single piece, such as the Masterpiece Solstice cuff—a creation of 5,170 diamonds and gemstones set in a painterly way to form a blooming azalea. Chao unveiled her collection in the United States last year, but she creates only a handful of artistic designs annually, each reflecting her own interpretation of nature.

    Photo by Michael Oldford
    Assael’s diamond-and-rare-pearl jewelry depicts and aids endangered animals…
    The historically inspired necklace is part of Boucheron’s new Bleu de Jodhpur collection…
    The London jeweler employs rare fossilized wood to create her pieces…
    Fresh designs take direction from a stage and screen icon…
    The Floridian Lapidary favors bold stones with minimal metal embellishments to distract from them…
    The exquisitely enigmatic gem shows its range in new designs…
    A timeless gem is refreshed with extraordinary hues…
    The New York–based jeweler prides himself on his nontraditional approach to jewelry design…
    Photo by Emanuele Marietti
    A fresh wave of jewelry elegantly emulates coastal flora and fauna…
    A new jewelry collection reveals African roots with refined designs…