Gavan Riley was born in New Zealand. He went to England in 1966 to further his education and attained a BSc with honours at the University of Kent. In 1976 he began working at his brothers’ jewellery workshop, “the Great Frog”, in Carnaby Street in London and designed and made jewellery there until 1988.
Riley has created, among many notable pieces, Hercule Poirot’s amphora lapel pin for the Agatha Christie television series and the prominently featured locket in the movie “A Fish Called Wanda”.
He returned to New Zealand in 1988 and concentrates on the flora and fauna jewellery which reflects his New Zealand origins.