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Most of the well-dressed women gathered at Christie’s Tuesday evening for an intimate dinner honoring fine jeweler Cindy Chao weren’t the sort to bust out the bling. But neither is Chao herself.

“I usually don’t wear jewelry,” said Chao, adorned only in a 25-carat sapphire knuckle-duster with 10-carats of diamonds “just for tonight.”

This story first appeared in the October 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Guests including Wendi Murdoch, Aerin Lauder, Lauren duPont (who co-hosted the event with friend and Chao publicist Hamilton South), Renee Rockefeller and Marjorie Gubelmann had a chance to slip on pieces from Chao’s Masterpiece collection, such as a 44-carat emerald ring and 7-carat fancy yellow diamond cuff. No one took anything home, maybe because prices start at $300,000. But there’s good news: Chao’s “more accessible” White Label collection has landed at Bergdorf Goodman. Prices start at $11,500.

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