Best of the Best 2012: Jewelry: Newcomer: Cindy Chao

With 11 sugarloaf-cut emeralds, 2,000 diamonds, and more than 18 months of work, Taiwanese designer Cindy Chao created this exquisite Equinox cuff (price upon request). It is one of just eight designs produced last year in her Masterpiece Collection series, and, like the others, it demonstrates the depth of Chao’s dedication to artistry. Few jewelry houses would devote that much time to a single piece (and in this case, a piece inspired by the idiosyncratic Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí), but Chao’s drive for perfection over commerce is what separates her. She also unveiled her White Label collection last year, in October at Bergdorf Goodman; as in the Masterpiece Collection (from $50,000), each White Label design is one of a kind, though prices begin at a slightly less extravagant $10,000. (+886.2.2741.7706, www.cindychao.com)

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