The Unique Properties of Kahurangi Jade
18 Aug 2017

The Unique Properties of Kahurangi Jade

 Here at Mountain Jade we use a variety of Nephrite (jade) types from around the world to craft the unique and striking pieces in our stores and on our website.

New Zealand jade still stands to be some of the best around the globe with many varieties that are all distinctive in their own qualities. Mountain Jade works closely with the tribes in the greenstone rich regions of the South Island to source jade. This means the New Zealand jade we use is legal, legitimate and of the finest quality.

One of the most precious varieties of New Zealand Jade is Kahurangi. Kahurangi shares its name with the Maori word for precious or prized, showing its importance and significance within their culture. Wearing or displaying Kahurangi jade an indication of nobility and held an extremely high importance within Maori culture.

Kahurangi is a rare form of jade found in the South Island of New Zealand, it’s one of the most expensive greenstones available from Aotearoa and this is dictated by a number of distinguishing qualities.

First off it is identified by its flawlessness; the stone is pure with little to no imperfections, making it free from any dark spots or murkiness. All fine quality jade will have an element of clarity, though Kahurangi jade couples this with its intense green colour.

It is also a highly translucent stone, when shining a light through it, the whole stone will glow green giving it a radiant quality as light refracts through it.

A unique and distinguishing characteristic of Kahurangi greenstone, is the small feather like white markings it has. This gives the stone a light cloud effect, though for it to be considered true Kahurangi jade, the feathering detail can’t cause any effect on the clarity of the stone, making it a defining yet subtle feature of its natural properties.

This feature also attributes to the origin of the stones name. As it takes its name from the clear skies, due to its transparency and depth, with the light cloud detailing referencing this.

The stone has an immense intensity in colour and consistency, making it a prime stone to carve simplistic designs into it, leaving its qualities to do the talking for you. Not always obvious in its natural state, greenstone when stumbled upon often resembles a regular stone on the outside. The exterior rind of greenstone can be anything from white to deep brown. It’s easier to distinguish the stone after a storm or soon after a high tide.

Kahurangi jade was the preferred stone of choice to carve toki blades owned by Maori Chiefs. It’s a symbol of status and signifies high rank due to its rarity. The meaning associated with the toki blade is mana (strength). These were traditionally an everyday tool, used to cut and dig but then progressed into a symbol frequently adorned in traditional heritage.

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