Rowena Watson Jewellers lovingly stocks one of the most beautiful and comprehensive collections of pounamu in New Zealand. We only stock New Zealand greenstone and have a full range, from simple but beautiful pieces for backpackers and beads for making your own jewellery, through to exquisite artist made carvings. Here you will see some of the unique Taonga that have been created by incredibly talented South Island based carvers. Jeremy has been carving since he was 12 and his collection of pieces using Marsden Flower is sublime. This pounamu comes from the Greymouth area of the West Coast, and Jeremy cuts it to incorporate the colour into the piece, often finishing with a high polish that adds beauty to the whole carving.
Rowena has a great love for pounamu that she has passed on to her staff. One of the team’s greatest joys is unpacking the pounamu as it arrives. Every Taonga is cherished by us before it reaches its new home in your hands. As well as traditional designs, we also provide a range of lovingly hand made contemporary pieces, set in sterling silver and 9ct yellow gold, including earrings, rings, and cufflinks too.
Rowena is of Ngāi Tahu descent on her dad’s side. Both her parents owned farms in the Ouruhia area of Christchurch and her mother’s farm was a stopping off point for Rowena’s ancestors before they crossed the Styx River as they travelled back from the sea with kaimoana to Kaiapoipā. Over the years many middens and adze were found on this pathway and have been donated to the Canterbury Museum.
Rowena’s great great grandmother, Irahapeti, lived at Kaiapoipāduring the time that Te Rauparaha laid siege. Irahapeti was a young woman at this time and walked with several others to Riverton in Southland to escape. No mean feat through rivers and native bushland.