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Meet the team

Gerald Westenra
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I began my career in the jewellery industry 28 years ago as a trainee manager for Stewart Dawsons and Pascoes Jewellers. From there I went on to manage Pascoes stores in Christchurch while at the same time studying through the Gemological Institute of America for a diploma in gemology. After the completion of several years of part-time study and attendance of classes at the Institute in Santa Monica Los Angeles I ended up with my Graduate Gemologist diploma. The opening of my own valuation business in 1994 was a natural progression for me. Following on from that I started up an estate jewellery store with highly experienced European jeweller Jacek Pawlowski. European Jewellers experienced steady growth but unfortunately due to outside commitments I had to sell my share in the business.

After two years of overseas commitments I settled back in Christchurch and started Westenra Jewellers and Westenra Jewellery Valuers.

I have a real passion for jewellery but wanted to make it more affordable to the public, and at the same time offer people a credible outlet for their unwanted jewellery. Westenra Jewellers is the end result.
The extensive knowledge of all forms of jewellery I have gained over the 28 years means that I have a huge amount to offer the public. This most certainly comes into play when valuing items and when clients want advice on jewellery that has been unearthed from the back of a drawer or from a deceased estate.

The bullion market is another area which I have an intense interest in and try to as keep up-to-date as possible with the overseas markets. Consequently I feel more than able to advise clients in this area of investment.

Melanie Kemp
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I have been working for Gerald at Westenra Jewellers for nearly 4 years now.  I have mainly focussed my time in the store, but have also tended to the website, Instagram and Facebook as well.

In 2012 I completed the Certificate in Gemmology online from Gem-A which is the British equivalent to GIA.  While I enjoyed studying, I found that I naturally gravitated to the jewellery side of things rather than the testing of gems.

This led me to search out a career in retail jewellery with my particular passion being antique and vintage jewels.

I enjoy the sentimentality of jewellery whether it's my engagement ring from my husband, or the ring I inherited from my Great-grandmother, it means so much.  For me there's more to it than just 'bling', it often invokes strong memories of love and loss and can commemorate milestones and goals achieved.  Sometimes it's just nothing more than pure unadulterated warm fuzzies!
I feel privileged to be able to bring that emotion to you through our website.