Greenstone / Jade

Not sure how many know this.
Some nz Greenstone is actually imported from canada & other places!

Also some greenstone is treated:

Type A
jadeite has not been treated in any way except surface waxing.

Type B
treatment involves exposing a promising but stained piece of jadeite to chemical bleaches and/or acids and impregnating it with a clear polymer resin. This results in a significant improvement of transparency and colour of the material.
Currently, infrared spectroscopy is the most accurate test for the detection of polymer in

Type C
jade has been artificially stained or dyed. The effects are somewhat uncontrollable and may result in a dull brown. In any case, translucency is usually lost.
B+C jade is a combination of B and C: it has been both impregnated and artificially stained.

Type D
jade refers to a composite stone such as a doublet comprising a jade top with a plastic backing.

Here is a funny little doco on Chinese Jade hunters

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A great article…I love it.
An indication if many things in this world…false and deceptive and it just goes to show you that the only jade/greenstone that is worth having is the jade/greenstone that you found yourself!
Strangely enough I have always thought that with some exception most NZ greenstone is ‘hyped up’ and doesnt interest me with some exception and of course the greenstone toki or adzes I have found, bought or exchanged over the years.
An interesting article with good points to be aware of.

Yeah, I’m not a fan of all the touristy generic stuff that is sold in the masses.
It would be better if people had to visit a marae where they learned about it (Pounamu can only be gifted, not sold). Perhaps have it more like tattoos where they Koha an artist to make something then it is posted to a friend/family member…
Bring a bit of the Mystique back. I bet the Chinese & Japanese would be right into that spiritual stuff.

i guess the stuff found in the ground would need to be treated for worms?

@11.18 one guy takes the jack hammer while the others consider their investment…with muffs id be considering me earholes

I was distracted while watching this, and didn’t realise there were 3 different groups. I just thought that they got more disillusioned and hairier!
Also wondered why they were calling out so loudly when using dynamite. Quite dangerous for the others - since it can cause rockfall, expecially if they were digging a loose place or climbling on a precipitous edge (which they do both of those).

As a full time greenstone carver, I know this subject to be quite complex. Firstly, most of the Asian market is for jadeite - a totally different mineral to our jade/greenstone, which is correctly called nephrite. Both are commonly called jade, as they look very similar and are similar to work with. Jadeite is much more valuable and has more colour variants, lavender and blue, etc.
Greenstone gifting is an old wives tale, local iwi who found and extracted the stone always traded it, and items made from it for whatever they wanted. It was traded the whole lenth of NZ in pre colonial times, getting more valuable the further north it went. There are many sources of this historical fact, in various books. In some areas leadership was (and still is sometimes) given with a greenstone mere as a token of power. Other places to this day, gift a greenstone mere when land changes hands within the familly. It was often given as a token of sincerity when a peace between tribes was marked, or a marrige. It was and still is a premium gift, but if you fall in love with a particular piece then go for it. If superstisious hang it in running water for a while, or have it blessed if you are unsure of it’s history. To see the best of NZ carvers work using our beautiful stone; look around a good gallery, or on the net, much better than the mass produced stuff in tourist trinket shops.


Good info.
Jadite is rarer and Nephrite is slightly harder.
Greenstone is quite rough when broken and that’s why it’s camouflaged with moss and gunk out in the wild. The reason for the roughness & strenth is that it’s composed of a stringy asbestos-like mineral that has been compressed at great pressures beneath the earths crust. Makes very nice smooth hard edges when ground though.


as a pounamu carver, Im not sure about the part that pounamu can only be gifted…thats a nice new mystical spin added to reinvent history.

From my understanding pounamu was the basis for many raids, murder and rape. not really part of the gifting buzz of koha. The history behind pounamu is equally as sordid as the history of gold