About Us

Nelson's Most Established & Only Artisan Jewellery Workshop

Jens Hansen's Hand-forged designs are easily recognized and crafted to last for generations.

• Lifelong Workmanship Guarantee
• Generations of Delighted Clients
• Maker's of The World's Most Famous Ring

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.

Jewellers at Work 

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.



The Ringmakers
"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 ring, but Jens and his son, goldsmith Thorkild Hansen, made more than 40 variations 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 prologue spinning and turning through the air.

The Jens Hansen Movie Ring available here has been created with the same dedication, passion and craftsmanship as the original seen onscreen in The Fellowship of the Ring™, The Two Towers™, and The Return of the King™.
Since 1960

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.

The Maker’s Mark

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 Hansen and Nelson
The Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith Workshop was borne from 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, and where 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 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



Team Members

*Jens Hansen – Gold & Silversmith is the designer and maker of The Movie Ring (the rings made for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies), The One Ring™ (made exclusively for Weta Workshop under their license from Warner Bros.) and The Jens Hansen Replica Ring (the replica rings available from Jens Hansen – Gold & Silversmith). Jens Hansen is an authorized stockist and reseller of the Weta Jens Hansen The One Ring™. Jens Hansen is not otherwise authorised, endorsed, affiliated or otherwise associated with Tolkein Enterprises, The Saul Zaentz Company (owner of the trade marks LORD OF THE RINGS, THE HOBBIT and THE ONE RING), New Line Productions or Warner Bros.

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