Learn about the flourishing Palmerston North Jewellery business staying true to its craft while creating timeless one-of-a-kind pieces.

Determined to push the boundaries of conventional jewellery design, Peter Cameron began Cameron Jewellery in 1984, in a small store in the Square Edge Arts Centre in Palmerston North. Later joined by his wife Jill, the pair slowly made waves outside their brick-and-mortar walls and built a world-renowned jewellery haven together.   

Peter put his traditional training to good use and he tirelessly handcrafted jewels that his neighbours would fall completely and utterly in love with.

Peter has done just that and more. The bespoke designs you’ll see in this feature are modern but timeless, and really do push the boundaries of conventional design.

Above: 18ct Rose & White Gold Natural Peach Sapphire & Bullet Cut Diamond Ring

This ring features a 1.46 carat Emerald Cut Natural Peach Sapphire, set in a Rose Gold four claw setting with a Bullet or Shield Cut Diamond set in White Gold on either side. The total diamond weight for this ring is 0.41 carats. Designed by Jessie Cameron and made by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

Above: 9ct White Gold Hexagon Tourmaline & Diamon Ring

This ring features a 6.83 carat Hexagon Cut Natural Smokey Tourmaline, set in a part rub-over setting. Six Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are bead set down each side of the Tourmaline, with a total diamond weight of 0.13 carats. Designed by Jessie Cameron & Sam Drummond and handmade at Cameron Jewellery by Sam Drummond.

The team at Cameron Jewellery still handmake every custom design, including hand-setting stones, so each design is truly a one-off creation and work is done on-site in their workshop. They can provide all the metal and stones needed to make a piece of jewellery, or they can use what the customer has to create something new. They use photos, drawings and in-depth consultation to make sure the piece is exactly as imagined.

Above: 18ct Yellow Gold & 9ct White Gold Colombian Emerald & Diamond Cluster Ring

This ring features a 2.79 carat Emerald Cut Colombian Emerald, set in a Yellow Gold rub-over setting, with 26 x Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds bead set around. The total diamond weight for this ring is 0.49 carats. Designed by Peter Cameron & handmade by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

Above: 18ct Yellow Gold & Platinum Morganite & Yellow Diamond Ring

This ring features a 1.29 carat Cushion Cut Madagascan Morganite, set in a Rose Gold four claw setting with a Pear Cut Natural Yellow Diamond set on either side. The total Natural Yellow Diamond weight is 0.58 carats. Designed and handmade by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

Today Peter & Jill are still in the store and in the workshop, but they are not alone. They now have a dedicated team of four retail staff and two jewellers. Peter & Jill’s daughter, Jessie, joined the team full-time in 2012 and honorary family member, Sam Drummond, has been sitting next to Peter in the workshop for over 20 years.

Above: 9ct Yellow Gold Natural Tanzanite & Peridot Ring

This ring features a 1.32 carat Round Cut Natural Tanzanite and a 0.86 carat Pear Cut Peridot, both set in claw settings. Designed by Jessie Cameron and made by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

The focus is still very much on creating one-of-a-kind pieces for the retail store and for their clients, but also to be a home for the most fashionable jewellery designers in New Zealand and Australia.

Above: 9ct Yellow Gold Princess Cut Black & Natural Yellow Diamond Ring

This ring features a 2.313 carat Princess Cut Black Diamond, set in a Yellow Gold rub-over setting with 20 x Natural Yellow Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds bead set around. The total Yellow Diamond weight for this ring is 0.74 carats. Designed by Jessie Cameron & Sam Drummond and made by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

Above: 18ct White & Yellow Gold & Emerald & Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Cluster Ring

This ring features a 0.80 carat Emerald Cut Diamond, set in a White Gold rub-over setting, with 20 x Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds bead set round. The total diamond weight for the Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds is 0.21 carats. Designed and made by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

Above: 9ct Rose Gold Pink Tourmaline & Yellow Sapphire Ring

This ring features a 1.14 carat Emerald Cut Yellow Sapphire and a 1.14 carat Trillion Cut Pink Tourmaline, both set in claw settings. Designed by Jessie Cameron and made by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

Above: 18ct Yellow & White Gold Emerald & Baguette Cut Diamond Ring

This ring features a 2.12carat Rectangular Cut Colombian Emerald, set in a Yellow Gold four-corner claw setting with a Straight Baguette Cut Diamond set on either side. The total diamond weight for this ring is 0.398 carats. Designed and made by Sam Drummond at Cameron Jewellery.

All the manufacturing work is still done on-site, just as it was in 1984.

Learn more at Cameron Jewellery. Photographed by Christall Lowe.