Peter Worth’s success in the jewellery industry is well known by many which is why you may be surprised to learn his career plans were once much different. Born in 1928 in Auckland, Peter and his brother John lived on Milford Beach in their family home before boarding at New Plymouth Boys High. Peter studied hard and never missed a deadline. He was also sure to never miss a party and would often be found sneaking out of windows with his mates.
Our first premises in Airedale St, Auckland
When his school years were over, Peter followed his father’s footsteps as an accountant and joined the family company. Despite the weekends filled with boating and dances, he eventually left and found himself working for three years in the office of a paua shell jewellery manufacturer where his interest in the jewellery industry was first sparked.
Innovative from a youthful age, Peter placed an ad in the papers and a local engineer and jeweller, Jack Dowle responded. The two formed the partnership Dowle & Worth, whose operations moved to our current premises. They specialised in men’s signet rings and later, a successful line of spinel jewellery.
Around 49 years ago, after the passing of Jack Dowle, Peter joined forces with another wedding ring manufacturer Allan Douglas of Allan E Douglas & Co. They knew they would be able to achieve more as one company and eventually combined the best from both ranges to become Worth & Douglas Ltd (W&D), a NZ large scale jewellery manufacturer.
Peter in front of the new premises in the 70’s, where we still reside today
Peter’s passion for the jewellery trade spanned his entire career as he retired in 2018 at the age of 90. During his 70 years in business he made a great impression on the industry. For two years, 1978-1980, Peter served as president of the NZ Jewellers Association and was instrumental in uniting the NZ Jewellers Association and Watchmakers Association to become JWNZ.
Throughout his time in the industry, Peter carried his company through the good times and the bad. The jewellery trade was no stranger to the 1987 stock market crash or the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis, but through sheer determination and an impeccable work ethic, Peter’s experience forged an intrinsic part of the W&D model.
The three generations John, Peter and Chris Worth – 2017
Peter sadly passed away in August 2019. His son John Worth succeeds him after working closely alongside Peter for 47 years. Together they often attended Jewellery trade fairs overseas where they always found the time to reach out to fellow competitors and have a good laugh at the end of the day. Peter’s grandson, Chris Worth joined the business in 2002.
Today, Worth & Douglas remains a family-owned business, built around Peter’s core values. Under John’s leadership, and with Peter’s founding passion, our company stands strong against the current disruption and looks forward to any challenges the future brings.