Cindy Chao’s Dazzling Azaela Solstice Cuff

Talk about beginner’s luck. Cindy Chao had been designing jewelry for three years when she left her native Taipei in 2007 to study at the Gemological Institute of America in New York City. “Every time I passed by Christie’s near Rockefeller Center, I told myself, ‘Before I die, I want a collection auctioned there.’?” Emboldened, she wandered in and presented a bangle and necklace to the jewelry department, which not only snapped them up and sold them for three times the estimate but also promoted her work by name—unheard of for a jeweler without a track record. That sale inspired Chao’s signature White Label collection, now sold at Bergdorf Goodman. But it’s just one of her many auction coups: At Sotheby’s Magnificent ­Jewels sale in Hong Kong on April 6, this Azalea Solstice Cuff—set with more than 3,000 diamonds, rubies, pink sapphires, and rhodolites—earned $465,600, triple its estimate, proving that Chao’s early success was no fluke.

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