As the story goes in the famous J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, the Dark Lord Sauron forged the One Ring to rule them all in secret, in the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor. The real secret is that the magic ring seen onscreen in Peter Jackson’s films was actually forged in a modest workshop on an unassuming street corner in Nelson, New Zealand.
The Jens Hansen Workshop was started by third-generation Danish silversmith Jens Hansen, who was contracted to make 15 rings of varying sizes for the Lord of the Rings movies, including the oversized band seen spinning in the opening of the films.
Unfortunately, Hansen died in 1999, shortly after making the first prototypes. The work was passed on to his sons, Halfdan and Thorkild, who run the shop where the One Ring was crafted. Replicas are available both in store and on the shop’s website (which also has a good deal of information about the making of the famed ring) and are shipped all across the globe.
Despite having become an international destination, the jewelry studio remains modest, tucked away just off the main street in downtown Nelson, with just a few small signs noting it as the birthplace of Hollywood’s mightiest ring.
Know Before You Go
The shop is at the end of the main street through downtown Nelson. Most parking in the city is free for the first hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.