Read The Stones

Ancient lore and minimalist lines marry in Ming's opulent designs

For Ming Lampson, namesake of fine jewellery brand Ming, no one piece is the same, her designs are led by rare stones deserving of a bespoke treatment. “I fall in love with a stone and think how can I honour it and give it a home,” says the goldsmith, gemologist and diamond specialist. “The stones come out of the earth and are so amazing and transfixing. We have to worship them and send them out into the world in the right way,” she smiles. 

Craftsmanship is paramount, so much so that Ming’s current collection is based on the concept of ancient crafts from pottery to weaving and arrowheads. “I adore the handmade, the skill of a craftsman and work flowing through hands,” she explains. The research fascinates Ming, who delves into museums and books for inspiration, building on an initial idea that evolves into a 15-piece collection every couple of years, with “meaningful” commissions in between. “I always make sure that I am not stuck behind business spreadsheets, but actually drawing every single day.” 

Ming then takes to paper and card, followed by wax, silver or gold, to hone her designs before creating the final piece. “Sometimes I think, let's cut it and stretch it, and that’s when we get results,” she says from her west London boutique, a small team of makers busy solving gem-related puzzles in the workshop below. Ming is keen to keep things small-scale: “I have done the odd show and Philips hosted a lovely auction in Hong Kong which was on female designers and included my hero - Suzanne Belperron.”

Jewellery Designer Ming

@mingjewellerylondon // Instagram

18ct Gold Tourmaline Ring

@mingjewellerylondon // Instagram

“I believe that in your whole lifetime, you should own just five amazing pieces of jewellery, and each should be created with meaning and intent.”

Ming Lampson

Across her collections, Asia provides an endless source of ideas for Ming who lived in Hong Kong as a child, “surrounded by Chinese art and furniture, and with Wong Kar-Wai films playing in the background.” She went on to train in jewellery in India. “I like the reverence to gold and gemstones in these regions, and how sapphire, jade and cat’s eyes are used as part of Vedic astrology.” 

The Secrets collection features a ring with a central cat’s eye stone surrounded by sapphires. “I love how unusual and dark the cat’s eye is,” says Ming. “And how the electricity of the blue sapphires kick off light like that.” In the same collection, find a mesmeric pair of chandelier earrings in coloured triangular stones, inspired by weapons disguised as hair pins traditionally worn by Geishas in Japan. 

“Sometimes when I'm designing, I think this is for Rihanna, Beyoncé or Cate Blanchett,” says Ming. “There are certain people that wear jewellery really well. Beyoncé can put on a piece, however big and bold, and she just looks fabulous."

18ct Gold Garnet ring

@mingjewelleryring // Instagram


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