Donald Claflin was born in 1935, in Massachusetts. He began his studies at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. After graduation, he worked as a textile designer. He began his jewelry designs when he joined jeweler David Webb. He also briefly worked for Van Cleef & Arpels. In 1965, Claflin was hired by Tiffany & Co. where he designed the Tanzanite collection. In 1970, Claflin designed a new Tiffany setting in which the diamond center stone is set in the cross of two intersecting bands of precious metal. He also became known for designing jewelry based on popular children’s stories, such as Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty and Chicken Little. Claflin left Tiffany's in 1977 and joined Bulgari. He died suddenly in 1979.