Story: Gemstones

Bowenite – a rare type of pounamu

Bowenite – a rare type of pounamu

These natural pebbles of bowenite (known to Māori as tangiwai) come from the entrance to Milford Sound. Although bowenite occurs in other countries, New Zealand’s is regarded as more attractive, being quite transparent with colours ranging from a deep teal-blue to olive green. Tangiwai was valued by Māori for adornment.

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Photograph by Russell Beck

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How to cite this page:

Jocelyn Thornton, 'Gemstones - New Zealand gemstones', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 April 2023)

Story by Jocelyn Thornton, published 12 Jun 2006