From Mine to Store: Wallace Chan’s Butterfly Brooch

In Chinese lore, butterflies represent long life and everlasting love. But for Hong Kong ­jeweler ­Wallace Chan, the artist behind this bejeweled brooch, the delicate insect is also “the perfect symbol of the power of life in nature.” Butterflies are a familiar motif in the enigmatic designer’s repertoire; he’s made them using diamonds, crystals, sapphires, and rubies. It took Chan a year and a half to corral the gems for this vibrant piece (retail: $770,000), chiefly jade, colored and colorless ­diamonds, garnets, and mother-of-pearl. But superhuman patience has always been a part of his creative process. “The lead time for a piece very much depends on the desirable gemstones available,” he says. “Sometimes it may take months or even years to get the appropriate ones.” Few would argue that this winged wonder wasn’t worth the wait.Inside JobThe brooch boasts 44.91 ct

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