Temple St. Clair remembers her first trip to Japan in the early 1980s with the sort of reverent tone that artists save for their greatest sources of inspiration: “I first went there on a family trip,” she explains, “and it was love at first sight.”

The New York-based jewelry designer, whose rare-colored gemstones and distinctive gold work have earned a place in the permanent collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts at the Louvre in Paris, attributes Japan and Italy as her most profound influences. As St. Clair sees it, jewelry design is her way of telling a story.

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