Jewelry designer Donald Claflin was the creator of fine jewelry for
several high profile jewelry houses. He was a designer who originated a
number of concepts and themes that have become iconic in the jewelry
Jewelry designer Donald Claflin was somewhat unique in that he was
purely a designer. His designs were executed by others, each master
craftsmen in their field.
Jewelry designer Donald Claflin and the designs he originated are
repeatedly described as witty, whimsical, iconic, imaginative, and of
18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Coral Strawberry
Claflin prepared for his career in design by attending Parsons
School of Design in New York City, a part of the university known as The
New School. After completing his formal education in the generic field of
design, he began his career as a textile designer and illustrator.
This budding, super talented designer soon moved to the jewelry
industry, where he would spend his career working for world-class jewelry
His move to the jewelry industry began with the firm of David Webb, He
next worked for Van Cleef & Arpels. His early years with these two
companies were when he refined his talents. His designs were not signed,
so his work at these companies is, for the most part, unidentified.
In 1965, at age 30, Claflin moved to Tiffany & Co. This is where he
would create the designs for which he is best known. In 1955 Walter Hoving
purchased controlling interest in Tiffany & Co. Hoving believed great
design was the key to success in the jewelry industry. Hoving sought out
and hired the very best designers... and then gave them the freedom to
create. Donald Claflin was one of these - a premier jewelry designer of
Tiffany Koala Brooch of diamonds, pink sapphires,
tsavorites, and onyx in 18 karat yellow gold
Jewelry designer Donald Claflin, while associated with Tiffany &
Co. usually had his designs executed by the manufacturing jewelry firm
Carvin French. Master craftsmen such as gem cutters, gem setters, stone
carvers, enamelers, and goldsmiths at Carvin French produced hand-made
jewelry faithfully following Claflin's designs in 18 karat yellow gold and
the finest colored gems, diamonds, and enamel work.
Enamel and Diamond ‘Sailor Mouse’ Brooch
Donald Claflin sometimes followed a theme in a series of designs. He
may be best known for a series based on children's stories. The mouse
Stewart Little, Humpty Dumpty, Chicken Little and other characters became
"high jewelry" through the genius of Claflin.
A Multi-Gem, Enamel and Gold Chicken Little Brooch
18 karat gold, enamel and diamond Humpty Dumpty brooch
Whimsical Squirrel Brooch featuring 18k Yellow and White
Gold, Diamonds and enamel depicting a squirrel.
Other character themes include a series of friendly
dragons and a series of Chinese acrobats.
Gold, Tanzanite and Diamond Criss-Cross
Within the jewelry industry, Claflin is also known as the
designer of original line of tanzanite jewelry for Tiffany & Co. Tanzanite
was a recently discovered gem, and with this jewelry line, tanzanite was
introduced to the world. The gem and the jewelry designs were an immediate
Coral and Diamond Acorn Brooch
Another of Claflin's favorite themes involves carved
stones. He designed a series of pieces featuring strawberries, and at least one
brooch featuring carved gemstone acorns.
Amethyst, Diamond, and Emerald Brooch
After eleven years and numerous commercially successful
designs Claflin left Tiffany & Co. In 1977 he took his considerable talents
to Bulgari, another world-class jewelry house.
Here Claflin designed jewelry that married his talents and
tastes with the aesthetics of Bulgari.
Jewelry designer Donald Claflin passed away in 1979 at only forty-four years
old. Bulgari and the world of "high jewelry" lost a unique and
Top - Tanzanite and diamond ring from
Claflin's Tanzanite Collection for Tiffany & Co.
Next - 18 karat gold, platinum, diamond
and coral Strawberry Brooch, an example of his designs featuring carved
Next - Koala Brooch of diamonds, pink
sapphires, tsavorites, and onyx in 18 karat yellow gold
Next - Enamel and diamond Sailor Mouse Brooch
Next - Carved gemstone, enamel and gold
Chicken Little Brooch
We have other shapes, sizes, and
shades of gems available.
We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough
worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.
Gem Industry News
True North Gems Commences Ruby and
Sapphire Mining at the Aappaluttoq Deposit
True North Gems Inc. has announced the start of mining operations at the
Aappaluttoq Ruby and Pink Sapphire deposit in Greenland.
LNS Greenland, a joint venture partner in the Aappaluttoq Mine, has been
contracted as the mine operator. An ore stockpile from the open pit mining
operation is being produced while the processing and recovery machinery is being
World's second largest diamond found in Botswana
An 1,111-carat rough diamond was recovered from the Karowe mine in Eastern
This stone is a gem quality, colorless, type IIa diamond.
The diamond was recovered from the South Lobe (kimberlite pipe) of the Karowe
diamond mine. In its relatively short life, the South Lobe has earned a
reputation for yielding gem quality diamonds.
Later that same week two other smaller – but still large gem diamonds were
This Christmas selling season appears to be better than the last
several. You are probably busy delivering custom jewelry orders and making a few
In the next few days you should contact all your customers and
remind them you are a good source for last-minute gifts.
Be The Quality Jewelry Discounter.
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