Police have released photos of rings stolen during a diamond heist in Kerikeri.

Manufacturing and retail jeweller Diamonds Direct, in Kerikeri Rd, was burgled at around 3am on Tuesday.

The burglars knew what they wanted, going for the best quality items after breaking in through the back door and then smashing the front of a designer rings show cabinet in the shop, the company's co-owner, who asked not to be named, said.

The owner said the diamonds may have been stolen to order or stolen by experts. The thieves must have been into the store, possibly more than once, to "case it out", he said.

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"They certainly knew what to take."

Police are warning punters who are offered jewellery, like the rings pictured, that they are likely to have been stolen.

Anyone with information can call Kerikeri Police Station on 09 407 9211. Alternatively, details can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.