Pounamu, New Zealand Greenstone, Jade - What's the difference?
To be honest they are all terms for the same thing. Pounamu is a very hard, durable and highly valued stone used for making jewellery, tools and weapons. Each of the names given to Pounamu is used by different groups
- Pounamu is the traditional Maori name
- Greenstone is a common everyday term used in New Zealand
- New Zealand jade is a term used in gemology to emphasize the similarity with overseas or non New Zealand jade
Pounamu is only found in the South Island of New Zealand. Out of New Zealand the term jade refers to two minerals used for carving. They are Nephrite and Jadeite. Jadeite is not present in New Zealand
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