Greenstone Carving

Greenstone

Greenstone Carving

Greenstone, also known as NZ Jade or Pounamu is found in many places around the West Coast and Hokitika and is treasured for its spiritual significance among local Maori.

The precious stone is prized for its strength and durability and also for its decorative beauty. Understandably these qualities meant the stone was used historically by local Maori for the production of weapons, tools, and attractive adornments.

Authentic New Zealand Pounamu is only found in the South-Western region of New Zealand’s South Island. Traditionally areas such as the Taramakau and Arahura rivers in Westland, and around Lake Wakatipu in Otago are the most prolific, along with some places in the Milford Sound in Fiordland.

It is important to note all of New Zealand’s Pounamu is protected, and subject to a sustainable management plans and responsible environmental practices.

Buying Greenstone In NZ

These days West Coast Greenstone is used to make jewelry and sometimes sculptures or other types of art. There are 5 main types of Greenstone, each with its own unique qualities.

  • Kahurangi
  • Kawakawa
  • Kokopu
  • Inanga
  • Tangiwai

According to Maori tradition, it is bad luck to purchase Greenstone items for yourself – a great excuse to have somebody else buy it for you!

When purchasing Greenstone items be sure to ask where the Greenstone was sourced as due to lack of availability sometimes carvers use the imported products instead. To find out if your Greenstone is authentic visit the Ngāi Tahu Pounamu website.

Or to find out where to buy your NZ Pounamu, see NZ stockists here.

 

Find Your Own

Feel like fossicking around on the beach to try and find your own piece? Sometimes small pieces washed up in storms can be found on the beach, you are permitted to take any pieces found on the beach but not if they are found elsewhere.

In its natural state, the stone will be less of green color and more grey in appearance with the outer skin of the stone having a “soapy” feel to it.

Greenstone Carving

There are some places on the West Coast that allow you to watch the carvers at work on their latest pieces, and also try your hand at carving your own piece. This can be a fun way to see how it’s done and make a great personalized souvenir to take home.

Bonz and Stonez and the Mountain Jade Carving Studio are two such places both located within the Hokitika township. Take home your very own piece of New Zealand with your hand-carved piece of Pounamu from the West Coast and remember your New Zealand adventure forever.

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Contact

If you have any questions or need help or advice about rental cars or your New Zealand travel plans we’re here to help you. Please contact us

New Zealand Free Phone: 0800 800 956

Australian Free Phone: 1800 771 302

Other international enquiries. Find your nearest New Zealand rental cars branch.

Contact

If you have any questions or need help or advice about rental cars or your New Zealand travel plans we’re here to help you. Please contact us

New Zealand Free Phone: 0800 800 956

Australian Free Phone: 1800 771 302

Other international enquiries. Find your nearest New Zealand rental cars branch.