Jewelry As Architecture With Emily Minton – Architect and Jewelry Designer

Jewelry as Architecture

(*feature photo – Emily Minton wearing her Particia Pedestal Ring)

When can jewelry be more than just jewelry?
When it’s both jewelry and architecture, according to architect and jewelry designer, Emily Minton.

architectural jewelry

Emily Minton, architect, founder and designer of Minton Jewelry on a job site for inspiration that became her SWM (stormwater management) rings. -photo Emily Minton

Jewelry reflects style, mood, purpose and function.

Emily Minton combines the above attributes of jewelry with architectural concepts to create her architecturally inspired jewelry collections.

Metal and Smith 2018 Winter Edit Jewlery Show

Let me explain how and where I met the woman architect who creates jewelry based on the same concepts she applies to the blueprints used to build the buildings she designs.

It was a cold winter morning.

The alarm didn’t need to wake me up – I was ready, and coffee was all I needed for the 4:30 am drive to the airport.

It was February 5, 2018, and I was on my way to my very first Metal and Smith Show in New York City.

I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew I was flattered and grateful to be invited, and was really excited to visit with the designers listed as exhibitors.

One designer I met was Emily Minton.
When she told me her jewelry started from concrete castings of her master’s architecture thesis, I was intrigued, and knew I needed to share her story.

Full time architect by day, jewelry designer by night and weekends, Emily merges design elements of architecture with jewelry for her eponymous jewelry line, Minton.

In our conversation I recorded for my podcast, Jewelry Navigator, Emily shared that,  while she’s a full time practicing architect, her jewelry designs and business are her passion.

The firm where she works is supportive of her jewelry design business, and mixing the two interests have worked in her favor.

Architect, Jewelry Designer, Model and Photographer

Emily applies the same concepts used to create buildings to her Minton jewelry designs. Not only is she the designer and founder of Minton, but she’s also the model and photographer!

All photos in this post are by Emily Minton from her “Studio” on her website,

Originally from Nebraska, Emily captures the nuance of her jewelry as both model and photographer for her jewelry.

Minton Jewelry

Emily Minton, wearing two of her rings, Bent Ring Skinny is Architect, Designer, Model and photographer for her line of jewelry, Minton, -photo Emily Minton

Jewelry Talk

I was thrilled when Emily agreed to share her story with me on the Jewelry Navigator Podcast.

An alumni of both the University of Nebraska, and University of South Florida, Tampa, Emily received her master’s degree from the latter.

While her peers were designing buildings and bridges for their thesis projects,  Emily’s design proportions were significantly smaller.

Emily approached her advisor with the idea to design jewelry using concepts of architectural design, and began casting jewelry in concrete.

Her original designs, like Bent Ring Wide, and Oval Ring Solid are still the cornerstones of her collections, with her Bent Ring as her logo.

Bent Ring Wide, one of Emily’s original designs for Minton, available in 14kt rose and yellow gold plated, and 14kt yellow, white or rose gold $440-$4,950

She shared she’s always had a strong interest in fashion, so pairing jewelry design with architecture is her signature M.O.

While another architect’s blueprints include linear and directional instruction, Emily’s are formed from a 3-D printer partially contributed by her architectural firm, then cast in New York City.

Fashion Show Dream Comes True

The day Emily and I recorded the podcast, she had just returned to her Baltimore apartment in the early morning hours from New York.

I had seen posts on her Instagram feed sharing her excitement and arrival into the city for an upcoming event.

As I followed her posts, I realized Minton was being featured in a fashion show with Flying Solo, a collaborative retail space on 434 West Broadway Street.

Model, Alexander looking fierce wearing the PATRICIA PEDESTAL RING by Minton on a chain at the Flying Solo runway show for New York Fashion Week 2018 Clothing by @wildevertigga -photo Flying Solo

It was so exciting to see her jewelry paired with styles that sync with and complement her designs so perfectly, even on the male models.

Emily confessed, had she known her jewlery was going to be modeled by the men as well, she may not have participated in the fashion show.
She had never considered her jewelry to be for men, but it’s easily a line that’s not gender specific, and looks just as handsome on men as women.

I was delighted and thrilled to have Emily as my guest on the podcast.

You can hear the entire episode on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean and Google Play Music on the Jewelry Navigator Podcast, and you can find Emily’s Minton Jewelry on her website,

Tell Me More…

What questions or jewelry conundrums do you have, but are too confused or scared to ask?

Part of why I started Jewelry Navigator is to help shoppers break through the fear barriers of entering jewelry stores, and knowing where to go when you want jewelry that’s special or unusual.

Email me at and share your jewelry concerns, worries, and stories.
I’d love to hear from you!



Brenna Pakes

I share a world of unique jewelry created by independent jewelers and designers with shoppers and readers.

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