Golden Kauri Gum

Digging in a muddy drain today I came upon a tiny piece of gum, then a very nice piece (far better than that crubly fossilised piece).
I’m assuming it’s Kauri, looks like it might have been cut.

Recently read this little book on the old gum diggers - very indepth with lots of photos.
One interesting point was the price changes, they would trim dirty bits off the gum and throw them on the fire. After a few years these shavings actually became the most valuable part of the gum!
Also had a chance visit to the Kauri Museum in Matakohe - really beautiful collection there! :+1:


Yum yum kauri gum!
Back in the early 1970s I was boarding in a guest house and an elderly couple were staying there.
They had been on a trip around the South Island and it was their dream to get a little bit if gold but they never got any. I had three grams up in my room so I gave it to them and they were so over the moon.
A week later a parcel came and in it a beautiful Maori toki or adze plus and fantastic piece of kauri gum polished on top and about six inches by four by three deep.
I treasure them both to this day.
When I was up in Northland two years ago I tried to find some but no such luck. That seems a great piece that you have found…great going.


We go looking for gum after a flood. It stands out on the mudflats same with big lumps of coal probably lost overboard when loading up the river here’s a bit of gum I’m polishing started with 80 grit sandpaper then worked to 400 grit finished with the thumb

2nd piece looks like it has a bit of DNA in it but hard to see in pic


That’s a nice piece on the left, looks good and hard by the shine you’ve got on it.

Nice. Forgot to mention the size of my piece (should have thrown a ruler in the photo), its about the same as your first piece.

I’m thinking about making some jewelery out of mine - just carefully considering designs atm.

good idea it can be quite deceiving how much “solid” gum you have until you start sanding


Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Goody goody gumdrops’ - and I can imagine an old timer being so surprised that he came out with that old expression of surprise ‘’‘by gum’ I am hooked on it - but then again if someone stole it then you would be 'gummy bare - just like me but in my case it has something to do with no teeth!

I love it. Whoever made it did a great job but I imagine that it is pretty fragile.

It was made by a guy turned up in our village about 10 yrs ago he was sleeping rough so we gave him bed for a few nights he use to scour riverbanks looking for gum to carve then sell at markets I had a piece lying around and he made the hook … before he left he asked if he could bury about a supermarket bag of top quality gum in the bush on our property not a problem we said… Haven’t seen him since not sure if he ever came back or it’s still there

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Here’s another use for gum, the tail for a fishing lure I think you guys were talking about them on a another thread

The curving tube shape really inspires me.
I also want to go & carve myself a maori fish hook from some bone. Aparrently the early settlers found the maori hooks to be superior to their own steel ones & they were a high value trade prodoct.
Not sure if that was because of the extra barb or that they don’t rust.