New Zealand Jade
Regardless of the shape it is carved into, jade is the health, wealth and longevity stone. It is said to promote courage, compassion, justice, generosity, humility, and lead to a richer more fulfilling life. It signifies serenity, purity and wisdom gathered in tranquility. Jade is said to attract good luck and friendship and also to promote self sufficiency. A protective stone, jade keeps the wearer from harm, increases love and nurturing and brings harmony. It soothes the mind and releases negative thoughts. Jade encourages you to become who you really are. In healing circles jade is used to aid the body’s filtration and elimination organs. It is excellent for treating kidney problems and adrenal glands. Jade removes toxins, rebinds skeletal and cellular systems and heals stitches. It assists fertility and childbirth and balances body fluids.
In New Zealand, Jade is commonly called Greenstone which is the English translation of the Maori word Pounamu.
The New Zealand indigenous people, the Maori, have recovered Jade (greenstone or pounamu), for over 1,000 years. They prized jade as a perfect medium for tools, weapons and adornment. They traded jade for food and other necessities. Greenstone Jade has great spiritual meaning to the Maoris.
New Zealand Jade is found in several different areas all close to the alpine fault line. Though mainly on the West Coast of the South Island and the Arahura River, it is also found in South Westland and Fjiordland.
Maori classify pounamu according to colours and have named four main types:
Pearly white, grey to green or blueish, wide variety of colours translucent or quite opaque.
This is considered the most highly translucent and rarest of New Zealand Nephrite, lightish green in its shades and free from dark spots or flaws.
Kawakawa (Pepper Tree)
Strong dark to rich green with varying intermediate shades commonly flecked with small dark inclusions which add to its character and makes the stone very desirable as jewellery.
Translucent to transparent greens and blues a variety of Serpentine known as Bowenite.
New Zealand Jade has a chemical composition of hydrated calcium magnesium silicate with varying amounts of iron.
20% magnesium oxide
13% calcium oxide
On Mohs’ scale of hardness of 1 to 10, Jade is 6 to 7. Diamond drill tips and saws are required to work it.
Jade is a metamorphic stone formed under heat and pressure estimated to have formed 60 miles underground. Through erosion and movement the jade eventually finds its way through the earth’s crust in the form of boulders.