The National Museum of Natural History’s gem collection has a new addition: the Cindy Chao Black Label Masterpiece Royal Butterfly Brooch. Created by Chao in 2009 and donated to the museum by the artist, the brooch is the first Taiwanese-designed piece in the collection.
The Royal Butterfly, composed of 2,328 gems, totals 77 carats. It is set with fancy-colored and color-changing sapphires and diamonds, rubies and tsavorite garnets. The centerpieces of the butterfly’s wings are four large-faceted diamond slices stacked atop a pave layer of faceted diamonds, creating a pattern resembling the microstructure and scale of a living butterfly’s wings. Click here to learn more.