Walking inside the newly renovated showroom of Wrights Jewellers on King Street in Pukekohe and you are immediately transported into a Christmas wonderland. Brimming with radiant sparkling gemstones, polished silver and gold chains adorned with seasonal and special charms.
Stunning rings creating majestic kaleidoscopes of colour and watches that offer a timely reminder that quality this good is a tradition that in the case of Wrights Jewellers has been going strong in Pukekohe for four generations.
The latest Wrights to own the store, Rhian and husband Ben are continuing with a tradition that all began in Pukekohe with Walter Wright, who after completing a watchmaking apprentice in England in the late 1800’s opened Wrights Jewellers in King Street, Pukekohe in 1912. The business has passed through the generations, with Rhian’s father Gary handing the reigns over to Rhian and husband Ben four years ago.
“My background is in design and business, but my passion and dream has always been to continue in the family business. I grew up in the shop, helped with delivering flyers, made the bows, helped out in the shop, especially as Dad was always working Christmas Eve. My brothers and I would hold a Christmas Eve party in the back of the shop, watching movies and wishing customers Merry Christmas as they came in. It was amazing to be a part of that and a natural progression for myself and Ben who has honed his watch repairing skills learning from my father, to immerse ourselves in the business,” says Rhian.
Jewellery is a long-standing craft. The first records of gold use can be traced back to 5000 BCE in Ancient Egypt. It was highly valued for its luminous appearance, malleability and later for its value. Revered in many different cultures as being of high religious significance and because gold does not corrode it was regarded as a symbol of immortality and typically a symbol of the sun. Gold has always been precious and was in ancient times saved for both men and women of the nobility. Today it is still surrounded by traditions and is used in many pieces of jewellery along with precious stones to mark special occasions.
Wrights specialise in designing and manufacture new pieces or remodelling of old ones. Their onsite workshop means that you can meet with the designer in the shop with a sketch or idea and be listened to as to how you want the piece to look and see it as it progresses. It is important for Rhian and Ben and the Wrights team to have that local touch and is one of the reasons they remodelled the shop to allow it to remain up to date with all the technological advantages that modern jewellery advancements offer but remaining loyal to their Pukekohe customers.
“Our roots are so strongly planted in Pukekohe and jewellery and it is exciting to have shared in the special moments of so many families over the years and as the area grows start new traditions with new families by crafting beautiful pieces for them to treasure through the years. There are so many stories behind special pieces, granddaughters come in wearing pieces that were bought from my grandfather all those years ago, and we can ensure they remain in good shape or alter them to suit the wearer of today,” smiles Rhian.
The sparkle of an engagement ring as it catches the Summer sun is a delight to see, and according to popular belief the engagement and wedding rings are placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because ‘La Vena Amoris’ or ‘Vein of Love ‘ runs directly through that finger to the heart. Essential then to celebrate such a special occasion with a quality ring from Wrights Jewellers. Known as Pukekohe’s Diamond specialist, Wrights Jewellers handpick all the Diamonds that come through the door and can source spectacular gemstones to accompany them in your dream ring.
“Whether you choose a predesigned ring from our extensive range, or we help you design and create your dream ring, we want to help you choose something that will last a lifetime and beyond.”
If it is a gift for a special person that you are looking for in the leadup to Christmas and beyond Wrights stocks top international brands such as Pandora, Swarovski, Meadowlark and watches by Seiko, Tissot, and Casio. Pandora always brings out a special range of charms just for Christmas and there is always a price point that suits every budget.
“We like to stock pieces which are unique and a little bit different, we are not a chain store, that’s for sure!”
Wrights can also repair and restore your old clocks and watches. Rhian’s Great Grandfather Walter who initiated the Pukekohe Wright Jewellery dynasty, was well known as a master craftsman, he built watches, including all their parts by hand. Today, a watchmaker is still an artisan, but the craft over the years has changed with the evolution of factory-made time pieces. Today Ben is learning the ropes from his Father in Law, Gary and offers repairs to watches where it is possible to source or create the parts necessary.
Both Rhian and Ben and their family before them are passionate about creating quality pieces to be enjoyed for the moment they celebrate today and remembered for generations to come.
“I have always thought that a special peice of jewelery is bought to represent significant moments, from first loves, to forever loves, precious friendships, children and milestone acheivements. Treasured from the moments they are gifted and becoming a precious heirloom to be passed through generations.”
Isn’t it time you celebrated your special moment with a dream piece especially for you from Wrights Jewellers.