About Us

Nelson's Most Established & Only Internationally Recognised Artisan Jewellery Workshop

Meet the makers of the world's most famous ring

Since 1960

Hand-Forged Designs Easily Recognized and Crafted to Last for Generations.

All Jens Hansen jewellery is original, precious and crafted 'to be worn'. This simple philosophy rewards us with creative pieces that we can all embrace, afford and love, and was also why New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson asked Jens Hansen to design and make the Movie Ring* for his film versions of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings™ and The Hobbit™ books.

Danish-born Jens (pronounced ‘Yens’) moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 1952, where he completed a traditional jewellers apprenticeship. In 1960 he held his first solo exhibition at New Vision gallery. His journeyman years included time in Copenhagen, with Royal Danish Court Jewellers, A. Michelsen. In 1968, Jens settled in Nelson with his wife Gurli and Halfdan, his first son. For more history, see towards the end of this page.

Lifetime Guarantee

All pieces made today by our in-house team of internationally experienced jewellers carry the Jens Hansen signature hallmark, which is your lifetime guarantee of workmanship.

The Maker's Mark

Recreations of Jens’ original ready-to-wear designs also carry his own personal maker’s mark; a version of the Chi-Rho. Long used as an omen of good luck, as it was similar to the pagan word for gold, it was used in the first centuries by believers to mark possessions, and later became the emblem of the imperial standard of Roman Emperor Constantine.

The World's Most Famous Ring:

"My father knew and loved The Lord of the Rings™ and was very excited when he heard that Peter Jackson was going to film it in New Zealand. Then came a phone call asking if he would make The One Ring - he was thrilled and honoured." - Thorkild Hansen

We all know there is only one The One Ring in the famous books, but Jens and his son, goldsmith Thorkild Hansen, made more than 40 variations of the Movie Ring* for the films. These were scaled for different scenes and sized to suit its various owners - from smaller solid gold versions that perfectly fit Hobbit's fingers, to the 8-inch ring seen in The Lord of the Rings' prologue spinning and turning through the air.

The Jens Hansen Replica Ring's available here have been created with the same dedication, passion and craftsmanship as the original seen onscreen in The Lord of the Ring and The Hobbit trilogies.

Owner & Creative Director

Halfdan Hansen

Halfdan is the eldest son of our founder, Jens Hansen, and he’s played a key role in the business since 2002.  Committed to continuing his father’s legacy of creating fine handcrafted jewellery, Halfdan has fostered international recognition of the Movie Ring which Jens and Halfdan’s brother Thorkild worked on for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies.  Halfdan, who has a University of Canterbury electrical engineering degree, has a passion for website management and for sourcing the most advanced tools in the world for his team of jewellers.  When he’s not working, Halfdan enjoys cooking, concocting complicated cocktails, and spending time with his family.  

Customer & Internet Support 

Erin Brady

Erin responds to our many email queries, manages online orders, and provides exceptional customer care. She's also lucky enough to check in all the gorgeous sparkly stones that arrive regularly for our custom jobs. Erin is the definition of 'people person' and we've yet to see her in anything but a positive mood. A natural born problem solver, she thrives on helping customers find the perfect jewellery item. Outside of work, Erin loves the simple country life of the Nelson region, surrounded by pets, family and friends.

Customer & Internet Support 

Rebecca Charleton

Rebecca is our star coordinator of internet orders and shipping. She ensures every order is accurate and wrapped safely, sustainably, and beautifully, before sending it off on its journey. Need to ship a Golden Kiwi to the Gold Coast? No problem. How about a diamond ring to Denmark? Of course! When she’s not working, Rebecca loves hanging out with her family, travelling, and taking part in (frankly, crazy) bootcamp challenges!


Zane Colegate

Zane is our Head Jeweller and Workshop Manager, and he’s been with us for almost a decade.  Highly qualified and experienced, Zane is ideally suited to overseeing the many, varied tasks of the workshop – custom design work, handcrafted pieces, settings, repairs and orders.  He’s in charge of all CAD designs and 3D resin printings, and he loves the process of taking original ideas through to the final product.  When he’s not working, Zane spends time with his young daughter, plays football and enjoys life in beautiful Nelson.  


Tony Furion

Tony joined our team recently from France where he has worked as a fine jeweller and designer.  Specialised in taking jewellery concepts from original sketch to sparkling finish, Tony is developing new products for the brand, expanding current collections and working closely with clients on custom pieces.  When he isn’t designing jewellery, Tony always has many other creative projects on the go, from experimental cooking projects to crocheting art pieces.


Simon Colegate

Simon joined our team six years ago after moving from South Africa to Nelson.  He has a Gold and Silver qualification and is one of only several highly skilled hand engravers in New Zealand.  His daily work includes metal shaping, gem setting, and creating new designs.  Simon loves the great outdoors, plays and coaches soccer, and grows Bonsai trees.


Joel Fitzwell

A popular member of the Nelson jewellery community, Joel joined our team recently with full qualifications in contemporary jewellery, and trade certified as a JIRBNZ manufacturing jeweller.  Experienced in fabricating, handcrafting and finishing castings as well as gemstone setting, Joel’s particular passion is developing new skills and techniques in engraving, repoussé, intaglio and granulation.  When he’s not at the jeweller’s bench, Joel is a keen bike rider and woodworker.


Ashley Wakelin

Born and raised in sunny Nelson, Ash completed his training with us and is now a fully qualified jeweller.  Passionate about continuing to develop his skills and repertoire, Ash handcrafts many of our classic designs and enjoys creating original pieces reflecting his personal style.  Ash is one of our resident animal lovers and a regular weekend volunteer at the local SPCA.     


Ray Mitchell

Ray has been producing jewellery in our workshop independently for 33 years.  Beloved by the team and highly experienced, he first collaborated with Jens Hansen in 1989.  Ray designs and handcrafts his own line of popular pieces and he has a passion for turning ideas into reality.  When he’s not on the job, Ray enjoys time with his wife working on their property in the Nelson hills. 

Jewellery Specialist

Miriam Hansen

Miriam is a fine artist with a passion for modernist design who loves helping customers create unique custom pieces. A long-standing and highly valued member of our sales team, she worked alongside Jens Hansen in the studio and has been actively involved in New Zealand’s art and craft scene for many years. When she’s not working, Miriam draws and stencils in her home studio and spends time in her gorgeously wild garden in the Port hills of Nelson.

Jewellery Specialist

Lee Barker

Lee is a jewellery specialist and key sales team member with a specialty in custom design work and gemstone sourcing. Highly creative, Lee is also the beauty consultant for photo shoots where his trained eye and styling skills help us create gorgeous on-brand results. When not at work Lee spends time with his two photogenic fur babies, Louis and Vivienne.

Jewellery Specialist

Jamie Chase

Jamie, one of our valuable sales team members, bringing in with him a Diploma of Graphic Design and a passion for all forms of visual art - from fashion and films to architecture and painting.  He has a strong interest in custom work and loves seeing a project through from beginning sketch to final product.  Outside of work, Jamie enjoys music, fine dining, and weightlifting.

Production Team & Accounts

Claire Day

Claire has played a big role in our company history, clocking up sixteen years for us in a variety of roles.  Currently she’s responsible for buying diamonds and gemstones, overseeing website development, photography and laser engraving, and managing workflows and training – in other words, a seriously skilled we-can’t-do-without-her performer.  As the resident gemologist, Claire is a keen rock collector, and she loves spending time in the country with her family and three beloved horses, Charlie, Prince and Bobby. 

Production Team & Accounts

Natasha Wearing

Natasha is our ‘everything office’ performer.  Need to know anything at all about accounts, general admin, or supplies?  She’s your go-to.  Filing, organizing, and tracking down lost details are Natasha’s department.  When she’s not efficiently crossing Ts and dotting Is, Natasha loves being with her family and whenever there’s time will fit in a game or two on her PlayStation – usually GTA online (we suspect she’s pretty good at that, too!).

Production Team & Accounts

Tessa Sparrow

Tessa is our dedicated Production and Inventory Assistant, overseeing product photography and laser engraving for our jewellery line. She’s a self-professed super creative and brings a natural flair to her role, seamlessly coordinating photo shoots for new releases and seasonal promotions while efficiently managing our busy engraving department. Armed with a recent Bachelor of Arts and Media degree, Tessa enjoys drawing and illustration, as well as getting out into the beautiful outdoors in her spare time.

Marketing & Social Media

Valeriya Horyayeva

Valeriya is our newly appointed social media and events specialist, and part-time sales consultant. Prior to moving to New Zealand from her homeland, Ukraine, she owned a marketing and event agency in Sumy -- creating advertising and parties is her super power. When she’s not working, Valeriya loves entertaining (of course!) and spending time with her young daughter.

Marketing & Social Media

Maddy Hansen

Maddy’s our advertising and social media graphics specialist who also oversees in-house projects such as specialty engraving images.  A Fine Arts honours graduate, she recently added jewellery drawing and 3D CAD to her skillset, key elements of our custom design process. 

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More about Jens Hansen and Nelson

The Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith Workshop was borne from the passion of creativity and experimentation. The first Nelson workshop, set up in 1968, was in the front room of the family home at 8 Alton Street. This quickly became a centre for the local arts community, where Jens' talent, energy, enthusiasm, and outspoken personality drew people in from all over the world. From here Jens trained, worked with and influenced many of New Zealand's leading contemporary jewellers.

Jens had an unusually broad training in gold and silversmithing in both New Zealand and Europe. From these traditional practices he combined design elements from other disciplines such as sculpture, architecture and art. He found new ways of working outside traditional structures.

Even after Jens’ death in 1999, his passion, pioneering outlook and creativity continues to infiltrate the vibrant Nelson arts scene. The workshop’s influence still resonates in New Zealand’s creative industries, as Jens Hansen’s spirit and teaching live on through the workshop’s current craftsmen.

Honesty, originality, creativity, quality and the ability to converse with the creator continue to set Jens Hansen - The Ringmaker above all others. In this day and age it's pleasing to know that these traits are still honoured and deeply engrained in every piece created in our workshop.

You can read more about Jens at The Prow - Nelson's Local History (Link opens in new window) 

Jens Hansen Bio

Jens Hansen 14 July 1940 - 10 August 1999

  • 1940 Born Gram, Denmark.
  • 1952 Came to New Zealand from Odense, Denmark.
  • 1955 Traditional apprenticeship at Sweeney's Jewellers Auckland & painting classes with Garth Tapper.
  • 1960 Solo exhibition of silverware at New Vision Gallery Auckland.
  • 1962 Left New Zealand to study in Europe.
  • 1962-1965 Worked at Michelsen's, the Court Jewellers, & Borups in Copenhagen. Studied at School of Applied Arts & Industrial design, Copenhagen.
  • 1964 Participated in exhibition at Guild Hall, Copenhagen.
  • 1965 Returned to New Zealand. Worked at A. Kohn Jeweller, Auckland & attended sculpture workshop with Jim Allen.
  • 1966 Started own business in Glen Eden, then in Titirangi, Auckland.
  • 1968 Moved to Nelson & opened Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith at 8 Alton Street.
  • 1970 Moved workshop to Hardy Street.
  • 1970s-1980s Ran summer school classes in sculpture and painting.
  • 1973 Moved workshop to 320 Trafalgar Square.
  • 1975-1976 Received Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council grant to work at Goldsmiths High School, Copenhagen. Studied painting, Copenhagen.
  • 1977 Returned to New Zealand.
  • 1980sWith Gavin Hitchings established jewellery classes at Nelson Polytechnic.
  • 1980s Advisor to Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand.
  • 1983 Founding member Details, the Jewellers, Bone & Stone Carvers of New Zealand.
  • 1990, 1995 Artist in Residence, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin.
  • 1968-1998 Exhibited in over 30 solo exhibitions. Participated in a large number of group exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia & Europe.
  • 1999 Commissioned to make the 'One Ring' for The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Sons Thorkild and Halfdan continue the legacy of Jens Hansen Contemporary Gold & Silversmith.
  • 2004 The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa selects key Jens Hansen jewellery works for the Permanent Collection.
  • 2008 40th Anniversary Collection Released
  • 2011 Made The One Ring for The Hobbit movies

Things to do in Nelson?

BONUS: Want to know what the Jens Hansen team thinks are the best things to do in Nelson?

Click here to learn what you might be missing.

Address & Contact

Jens Hansen - The Ringmaker

320 Trafalgar Square
Nelson 7010
New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 548 0640

Nelson Studio Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 9am - 5.00pm *Wednesday start 10am
Saturday 9am - 2pm
Sunday (by appointment)
Public Holidays - Closed

Upcoming Public Holidays 

2024 public holidays closed

Monday 3 June - King's Birthday

Friday 28 June -Matariki

Monday 28 October -Labour Day

Wednesday 25th December -Christmas

Thursday 26th December -Boxing Day 

Jewellers at Work Today

Our Nelson studio workshop is host to a number of jewellery makers and jewellery experts, who are committed to creating and selling unique, custom, quality jewellery, and continuing the Jens Hansen legacy.

Sponsorships & Affiliations