Jade, Pounamu or Greenstone, what is the difference?

What’s the difference?

Greenstone / Pounamu / Jade are often the same thing from different angles.

Pounamu is the Maori word for Jade but Tangiwai (Bowenite – a translucent Serpentine) is also included under Pounamu. Tangiwai is another translucent green stone we have in New Zealand and is very similar to Jade though more fragile. I would use Pounamu to describe New Zealand Jade or Tangiwai.

“Greenstone” is the term Captain Cook used to describe Maori Jade carvings. It’s a term that is only used in New Zealand/Australia and is confusing in nature as we have a lot of “green” stones.

Jade is the common word for nephrite. It is used worldwide and is specific. Internationally the term Jade is used for two different stones – Nephrite and Jadeite. In New Zealand all our Jade is Nephrite but overseas the term Jade could be used for either depending on where you are.

Jadeite
Jadeite is a semi precious stone. It is harder than Nephrite so takes longer to carve and finish.  It comes in a range of colours a little different than Nephrite. Along with white and green, jadeite comes in reds, lavenders and yellows.

Fake Pounamu?
Jade (both Nephrite and Jadeite) is found in a lot of countries and has been highly valued in different cultures for thousands of years.  You could/and do get jades from overseas described as Pounamu.  This is obviously deceitful.

This is an ongoing article. 

Aaron

pounamu ruru
Pounamu Ruru
pounamu
Pounamu Rolled Leaf
pounamu Huia
Dark Pounamu Huia
Pounamu ruru
Pounamu Ruru
pounamu ruru morepork
Pounamu Ruru