Jens Hansen – Gold & Silversmith – “Makers of the world’s most famous ring”
When I think of Jens Hansen, I immediately think of “My precious” from Lord of The Rings.
It’s a great legacy to be connected to so I dropped in for a chat to find out more about this legendary tale.
I met up with Halfdan Hansen, (Jens’ son) Jens passed away in 1999 and Halfdan is heavily involved in managing the family business.
He’s an electrical engineer by trade, and he’s travelled the globe wearing a hard hat, working on oil rigs in The Middle East, Papua New Guinea, Australia and NZ. He returned to New Zealand in 2002 to help with the family business. He has a natural gift for marketing and enjoys that aspect of his role.
Halfdan lives in Mapua with his wife and they have two grown-up daughters. He enjoys dining out in our local restaurants, likes popular culture and loves a good movie. He made jewellery during schools holiday for his dad growing up. He went to Waimea College and was the Dux of the school before pursuing his electrical engineering passion at Canterbury university and then overseas.
“Despite having had a career in the gas and oil industry, helping my father’s legacy has always been very rewarding. I enjoy chatting with our customers and hearing their stories. Buying a ring or pendant for someone special always has a heartwarming story attached. ” says Halfdan.
Jens is a popular Danish Name – just like Bob or John is in New Zealand. Its origin is deeply rooted in Danish history. The name Halfdan comes from ancient Viking lingo, literally meaning half-Danish it’s an epic name associated with brave and adventurous people.
“Dad was a brilliant jeweller. And together with my mother, they set up a respected artisan jewellery business in Nelson in the late 1960’s years before Peter Jackson asked him to create “The One Ring.” His work is highly regarded nationally and internationally; he is in the Marquis Who’s Who and has designs in the permanent collection of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa.
The legend lives on as people from all over the globe seek us out. There were six movies in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit franchises and each year a new film got released and we noticed an increase in sales. Of course, now the films have become part of New Zealand folklore and keep getting viewed by new generations.”
They currently employ 4 jewellers, all fully qualified and passionate about their craft. Their workshop is one of the best equipped and most experienced in the top of the south. They can make to order or you can buy their classics in-store or online. There’s very little wait time, and, of course, jewellery is small and easy to courier worldwide.
Sales have been steady, even during the pandemic. The lack of tourists has been mostly balanced out with local sales as kiwis are supporting locals while they aren’t able to travel, and it seems there’s always money in the budget for extra special gifts.
“As well as being a traditional manufacturing jeweller we also buy gold from local prospectors, and do repairs, resizing and have even made special trophies. Our website has been a really good investment. Our customers can take their time and browse or get ideas for custom designs.”
Jens Hansen was a keen painter and after finding fame in the Jewellery realm he was committed to painting, which was his newfound passion. You can see some of his works here.
“We are very proud of our Golden Kiwi necklace, a portion of sales of which, we now donated teach year to the Brook Sanctuary project. When The Duchess of Cornwall visited New Zealand the City of Nelson gifted her one and we get a real kick out of seeing all the media photos which show she still wears it regularly.”
Looking for something special for someone special? Look no further.
Call (03) 548 0640
Shop: 320 Trafalgar Square, Nelson 7010
Click here to explore the virtual tour at Jens Hansen
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