How heavy is Greenstone?


We have been gold prospecting in this river a lot recently and whenever we seem to get down deep to the bedrock layer and process out our concentrates there always seems to be a decent bit of greenstone pebbles in amoungst the concentrates and we almost never find it on the surface but always quite a bit down the bottom of the hole and it often stays in the sluice so it had me wondering how heavy is greenstone? I never assumed very heavy but it always seems to be staying in the sluice and now its getting to the point where I feel like oh look some greenstone that means gold here, but I never assumed it was that heavy but maybe im wrong, or is there something weird about it that makes it sink to the bottom of the creek other then weight?

Thanks a lot if any of you guys know anything that would be appreciated :slight_smile:

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About the same as most other gemstones…are you able to post a photo?

All rocks have a specific gravity eg serpintine 3.0 and greenstone 3.1 can determinate the true nature of each rock.Just got o work out weight and formula…good luck with that!?

Greenstone is waxy so rub it. It is heavier thou hence why it distributes in certain places on rivers or beaches. Always keen to see a photo but if it is greenstone you shouldnt broadcast it too loud

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Cheers, really its only smaller pieces the biggest found was probably only around 100G but normally the ones we find are normally pebble type size ( around the size of a 1 ounce gold nugget or smaller) they are more of lighter green then the stuff you see at mueseums and stores etc but that is probably because of impurities etc but I am 90% sure its greenstone. Next time we are up there I will send you some pictures, it is pretty smooth in general as far as I reamember, it may also be serpentine im not sure, but it comes from one of the tributarys of the grey river on the inland side if that gives any indication. Its probably just easy for me to grab a bunch of pieces and weigh them up compared to similar sized rocks and see what they come up like XD.

Thanks for the info :slight_smile:

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A few photos will do the trick. Rub it on the side of your nose and get some oil on it. Should be waxy

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Hi, I found a little bit of material we brought back from our last trip, in our garage and it had a few smaller pieces of greenstone (well if it is that) it had both the brighter green pieces and the darker green pieces but they were all small so it was hard to get good footage sorry .

Interesting. It could be greenstone. Soak it in a drop or two of olive oil overnight. Wipe it dry and sit it somewhere. If it still has a lustre in a few days it is likely to be greenstone. What river are you working?

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Ok I will do thanks for that. I have to keep the river we are working under wraps but its a private claim not far from Ngahere. But I can tell you that when we prospect in Goldsborough we get the same looking stuff in similar stuations not as often but there is still a fair bit of it.

All good. There is pounamu there. At ngahere and goldsborough. Good luck. Bigger rocks are scalloped with a concave and convex side and creamy to bricky red. The shape is the giveaway not the colour

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What do you mean by “greenstone”

There are pkenty of green stones.

If by chance you mean nephrite jade,or known locally as ponamu, it has a relative density of between 2.9 to 3.03.

Even ponamu is not a good name as there are 3 varities of rock that fall under the ponamu name.
Nephrite jade-most common
Bowenite-also tangiwai-less common but if a good piece it rather special

And one other that slips my mind-least common an least valuable,like almost not worth the effort to work value.

Its really that heavy,just average density really

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Be carefull.

Ngai Tahu OWN all the nephrite jade.

You cant touch it without written permission.

If you go about it correctly you could probably get to keep a piece of float

I found a good size bit up the dart river…I thanked the mountain very much …


At least that is keeping with tradition.

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Hard stuff to get your eye in for…looked along the west coast too but never had the same luck with it as with the gold… the tourists would have thought we were some weird nomadic tribe in the pouring rain with our hoods up bowing down to the ground with our hands behind our backs pacing slowly along the river bed as jet boats wizz past

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Nothing looks less like nephrite than nephrite.

It does have a distinct feel to it though so experienced people go barefooted.

Alot has a heavily calcined rhind-whites,creams,and browns.

Alot of the stuff that timbles downriver has the rhind ground off and looks lije what youre after

One of my bits showing the skin and a cut face.

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Interesting pounamu. It looks south westland but thats not a usual spot for gold miners.

Jadite is the third variety but you don’t get that in NZ. Then there are a dozen or so varieties of nephrite I.e inanga(the whitebait), kokopu (a spotted galaxiid), totoweka (the blood of the weka) and my favourite kahurangi. If anyone needs a stone confirmed just PM me, i do a bit of carving including gold inlaid into pounamu. Have carvings in boardrooms, China, Sweden and Hawaii.


Hi there. Mangrove. Your carvings & gold inlays sound interesting. Do you have any pics you can share with us? Cheers

JW :cowboy_hat_face: