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Greenstone, Pounamu, Information

New Zealand Greenstone (Nephrite Jade)

Maoris name Pounamu (pow naa mu).

Found in the Arahura River Valley of the Hokitika and Haast regions, also Nelson and other small specific areas of the South Island.
New Zealand, greenstone is a form of Nephrite Jade, considered a prized possession by the Maori people, especially when given or received as a gift.
Used for personal adornment because of it's beautiful, at times translucent colour, traditionally used for tools such as axe and adz heads because of it's strength and durability.
Great skill is required to cut, polish and fashion this very hard form of Jade, the result is, a beautiful, durable piece of uniquely New Zealand, Jewellery Art.

Colour types of Pounamu

Depending on the area where the stone is found and within an individual stone itself, a variety of colours, shades and mixes of colour and textures are found.
These colour differences can emerge and change in surprising ways as the stone is selected, cut, formed and polished.
This gives New Zealand greenstone it's unique and beautiful characteristics, where on a single carved item you can have different colours and textures merging together.
For most of the items on this website, we actually choose what we consider, the more interesting colour, texture combinations, that can be found, rather than the pure colour types that are listed below.


The colour is a clean apple green.
The meaning is based on the appearance of a "clear sky" no clouds, no imperfections, so a true "Kahurangi" greenstone piece is quite rare and  have a translucent, or depth quality, to the stone.
Kahurangi also represents a precious, rare jewel given to, or inspiring  leadership.



The colour taken from the leaves of the native Kawakawa tree, a dark rich green with  dark or black flecks throughout the stone.
Stone given this name type, comes with many colour variations, from dark to an olive and lighter green, but always with the interesting darker inclusions.

Flower or Marsden

Beautiful combinations of colour including rich bright green to darker mossy greens, interlaced with a creamy white through to a red rusty yellow colouration.
Marsden refers to the region near Greymouth, where this particular stone is found.
NEW ZEALAND GREENSTONE KORU FLOWER PONAMU 2-916pacifictreasures   Flower greenstone twist Pendant-62


Also known as(Trout stone) Kokopu being the Maoris name for the brown speckled Trout.
Brown spots or speckles over olive green with some yellow colouration.
pacifictreasures NZ greenstone  koru Kokopu-956


A pale grey green or pearly white stone, the name comes from a native New Zealand fish of the Galaxiidae family, more well known in there juvenile stage as white bait.



Olive green to a blue green.


Pale green.


Dark green with black flecks, streaking some yellowish colouration.


Green and white colouration.