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History

Established in 1952, Rutherford has earned a reputation for rare and unique jewellery, silver and pearls.
 
From a humble beginning in country Victoria the founder Mr Bruce Rutherford (1926 - 2014) pursued his passion for antiques and fine jewellery leading to the establishment of a well respected Melbourne based jewellery business with stores on the prestigious Paris End of Collins Street, The Block Arcade, and Camberwell.
 
The success of the Rutherford brand and the success of Mr Rutherford is owed to his vision, passion and his principles. His vision was of an established jewellery business such as those he loved in Bond Street, London. His passion was for fine quality antiques and rare valuables. His principles were of hard-work ethic, trustworthiness, honesty and his Christian faith.
 
The Life and Legacy of Mr Bruce Rutherford
 
Bruce Rutherford was born in 1926 as the youngest son of Kyabram orchidists, James and Annie Rutherford. But working the land for Bruce was a means to an end, not his passion. In 1940, aged 14, Bruce began his training as a watchmaker in country Victoria. It was here with FC John's of Kyabram that Bruce was first exposed to what would become a lasting passion.

In the early 1950's Bruce purchased a tractor with the intention to earn an income and eventually sell to open his own business. In 1952 he realised this vision and opened the doors of his first jewellery business in Yarrawonga, Victoria.
                       

 

From 1966, Bruce spent two years working with Sotheby’s in Bond Street, London before taking a position as Sotheby's sole representative in Australia, a position he held for over 10 years. A career highlight for him was holding their first Australian auction, the estate of Sir William Dobell at the recently completed Sydney Opera House.

During this time, as a representative for Sotheby’s, he also opened his own business at 43 Bourke Street in Melbourne. Then in 1979, he took an adventurous step and opened a store at 115 Collins Street. It was here that Bruce Rutherford really began to make his mark.

In 1988 Wesley joined his father and the business specialised in fine jewellery and silver. By the 1990's the business had operated out of several stores on Collins Street eventually making 182 Collins Street home.

In 1993, Bruce's daughter Ruth joined the business as they opened a second store at 174 Collins Street. It was here that the family would establish Melbourne's first pearl specialist store.

Throughout his business life Bruce worked with all members of his family, some for a short period of time and some for many years in more significant roles. This was important to him and greatly enriched his experience of a fulfilling career and family life.
In more recent years many of his grandchildren have been involved with the business in a broad range of roles. This always brought him much joy.
 
Rutherford Today

Today at Rutherford the management of the four stores is handled by Wesley and Ruth as well as grandchildren Bronwyn Burnett and James Docking.
 
Wesley Rutherford is the company’s Managing Director and, with a strong business and management background, brings vision and drive to Rutherford. His ability to source unique and beautiful pieces of jewellery is displayed in all the Rutherford stores.


Ruth Close manages the pearl shop at 174 Collins Street and brings her wealth of expertise in both business and the pearl industry to Rutherford.


Bronwyn Burnett is Bruce Rutherford's granddaughter and a qualified gemologist with over 10 years experience in fine jewellery. She manages the Rutherford store at 182 Collins Street  which specialises in fine jewellery and silver.


James Docking, Bruce's grandson joined Rutherford several years ago. With a Masters in Business Management he manages the stores located in Camberwell and The Block arcade.
 
Bruce Rutherford has left a powerful legacy that extends beyond the borders of the Rutherford business and his family. It is a legacy fashioned by his vision, passion and principles. With this in mind, we look forward to seeing you in one of our stores or in the cities we visit around Australia and helping you to find something special to celebrate the people and milestones in your life.