Story: Gemstones


Pounamu, also known as greenstone or New Zealand jade, is the most highly prized New Zealand rock. All the photographed samples are nephrite, which is the dominant variety of pounamu. It is found only in a few places in the South Island, and usually collected as river boulders. A piece of raw pounamu is shown at top left, beside an intricately carved pendant by Neil Hanna (top centre). The other polished pieces show the different varieties of pounamu.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Alastair McLean

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How to cite this page:

Jocelyn Thornton, 'Gemstones - New Zealand gemstones', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2022)

Story by Jocelyn Thornton, published 12 Jun 2006