JCK Asks…Temple St. Clair

The golden girl leaves no stone unturned

Yellow gold is more expensive than ever, but for ­Temple St. Clair Carr, its value goes well beyond price. The metal has been a mainstay of her wide-ranging line since its beginnings in 1986 in Florence, Italy. Not that she doesn’t mix it up: To craft her medieval-inspired amulets, delicate earrings, and statement rings—which appeal to self-purchasers (e.g., a $575 rock crystal egg amulet) and special-occasion givers alike (an 18k cuff with moonstone, rubies, and diamonds goes for $42,000)—she relies on crystal, tourmaline, moonstone, colored sapphires, and diamonds. One material she’ll never use: coral. (The designer is a proud supporter of the “Too Precious to Wear” ­campaign.)


Age: AgeLESS!

Number of years in the biz: 25 plus

Number of employees you oversee: 25 and growing

Maximus the puppy

Family/pets: Husband and business partner, Paul Engler; sons, Alexander and Archer; German ­Shepherd puppy, Maximus

Describe your personal style: Understated eclectic

First piece you ever designed: Necklace with an ancient Carthaginian coin

The single piece of jewelry you can’t live ­without: My Rock Crystal Amulet

Best piece of advice you ever received: “Go for it; you’ll figure out how to pay for it later.”

Worst piece of advice: “Go for it; you’ll figure out how to pay for it later.”

Scuba model St. Clair

First job ever: Underwater scuba model for an Italian tourist agency in the Indian Ocean

How did you get started designing jewelry? I had an ancient coin. I met a master artisan goldsmith in Florence. I just had to put the two together. 

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? Saving coral and dolphins full time.

What inspired the Rock Crystal Amulet, your signature jewel? A medieval charm belonging to Lorenzo de’ Medici

Favorite gemstones: Royal blue moonstone and Paraiba tourmaline

Moonstone earrings

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: My vine amulet and my favorite five rings

Five items on your desk right now: iPad, a pile of sketchbooks, The New Yorker, my ­camera, color samples for new packaging

Five songs on your playlist: “Green Eyes,” Coldplay; “Together,” the Raconteurs; “Wild Horses,” the Rolling Stones; “Sara,” Bob Dylan; “Mine’s Not a High Horse,” the Shins

Exercise regimen: Weights, jump rope, yoga, ­skiing, tennis, squash, and bicycling

What did you have for breakfast? Steel-cut oats and blueberries with a caffe latte

Guilty pleasure: A hot fudge sundae with coconut ice cream at SoCo Creamery in Great Barrington, Mass.

Everett Collection
To Catch a Thief

Drink (daytime/evening): Seltzer with bitters and lime

First website you check every day (not your own!): Zappos.com

Scent: Hermès’ Un Jardin sur le Nil

How do you unwind? Hanging out with my boys.

Superstitious? Yes

Book you’re reading: Four Fish by Paul Greenberg; The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Book you’ve been meaning to get to: Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian

Preferred news source: The New York Times

Main means of transportation: Back of my ­husband’s Vespa

Favorite movie: Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief

Who would play you in your life story? Andie MacDowell

Personal motto: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”