Jens Hansen's Hand-forged designs are easily recognized and crafted to last for generations.
All the jewellery is handcrafted, original, precious and crafted 'to be worn'
This simple philosophy rewards us with creative pieces that we all can embrace, afford and love, and was also the reason Peter Jackson asked Jens Hansen to design and make the ring depicted on screen as The One Ring™ for his film version of J. R. R. Tolkien's famous The Lord of the Rings™ books.
Our Nelson 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.
Jens (pronounced ‘Yens’) was born in Denmark and moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 1952. He completed a traditional jewellers apprenticeship there, and in 1960 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 first son Halfdan.
Made today by our in-house team of internationally experienced jewellers, all pieces carry the Jens Hansen signature hallmark, which is your lifetime guarantee of workmanship.
Today’s 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 connoted 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.
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 Gold and Silversmith 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 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.|
|1980s||With 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|