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The new Tiffany Era collection, available at Tiffany & Co.

By Tali Jaffe

What better way to express your love than with a very special piece of jewelry? Perhaps to that end, Tiffany & Co. presents Tiffany Era, a new jewelry collection that spells out L-O-V-E.

Inspired by a ring designed by Donald Claflin, who designed jewelry for Tiffany in the late 60s for about a decade, the collection definitely captures the mood of the time and is all about making a bold statement.

Wide bangles and dimensional pendants gleam in 18 karat gold and sterling silver. The designs are squared and slightly contoured, with the four sides serving as polished panels for Claflin’s bold cutouts.

Claflin is one of the many designers invited to create signature looks for Tiffany & Co. While it seems as much a part of the company’s history as the little blue box itself, it actually wasn’t until 1955 that these guest designers began collaborating with Tiffany.

When Van Day Trueux was hired as design director, he invited Jean Schlumberger, a well-connected socialite and previously a fashion jewelry designer for Elsa Schiaperelli, to create individualized pieces for Tiffany. That relationship quickly grew into one of the most successful for the company, as Schlumberger brought famous friends and an unrelentingly sense of whimsy to the jewelry house.

His signature pieces featured animal motifs embellished with bold enamel and large, bright gemstones. He also created Tiffany’s classic ribbed and studded “X” bangles.

Donald Claflin was the next designer to succeed Schlumberger in his post, and he too was followed by the likes of Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso and Frank Gerhy who all continue to design for Tiffany.

Claflin, Parsons School of Design graduate, began work as an illustrator and textile designer before entering the jewelry realm. After a stint at David Webb, he joined Tiffany in 1966. His work is best recognized for his whimsical use of gemstones and brightly polished gold.

In addition to his humorous designs with animal motifs and fantastical creatures, he’s also credited with introducing tanzanite to Tiffany in 1969, and was one of the first in the country to utilize the stone.

Look out for the Tiffany Era collection at Fashion’s Night Out on September 8 at Tiffany & Co., Bal Harbour.

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