Cover Black Label Masterpiece I Aurora Butterfly brooch by Cindy Chao (Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Chao The Art Jewel)

Cindy Chao The Art Jewel's three-dimensional butterflies are cumulations of technical mastery

Cindy Chao The Art Jewel is unlike any other jeweller. The maison’s ultra-feminine floral fantasies are highly coveted by collectors and museums alike. Defined by unseen levels of craftsmanship that can add up to 10,000 hours for a single piece, Cindy Chao’s three-dimensional creations, including her bejewelled butterflies—she creates just one of these each year—are breathtaking one-off artworks.

See also: Cindy Chao On Her Family, Fame And Why She’ll Never Stop Making Jewellery

Take, for example, the Black Label Masterpiece I Aurora Butterfly brooch. Using her architect grandfather’s drawings as inspiration, the artisan created a multi-layered insect using 2,000 diamonds and sapphires, all of which are set on a lightweight titanium base.

Glittering rows of yellow diamonds depict spindly veins, while a clutch of Burmese Pigeon’s Blood rubies stand in for the creature’s body.

A smattering of blue diamonds, interspersed with chunks of diamond scales, complete this exquisite brooch, which is so perfect in its detail that it almost seems ready to flap its wings and fly away.

See also: 30 Hong Kong-Based Jewellery Designers You Need To Know

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