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FAQs

We have put together some FAQs and FACTS about some of the products we carry in our shop. We hope they are of interest and will assist you when making your purchase.

Greenstone

Commonly asked questions:

Q. What is greenstone?
A. New Zealand Greenstone is nephrite jade or pounamu. It comes from the West Coast of the South Island and is considered 'taonga' or treasure. It is an honour to receive it as a gift.

Q. Is this New Zealand greenstone?
A. Yes, all our greenstone is guaranteed to be from New Zealand.

Q. Can I buy greenstone for myself or can I only buy it as a gift for someone else?
A. Greenstone has always been treasured as a gift (taonga), however it is acceptable to buy greenstone for yourself, but someone else should place it around your neck the first time you wear it.

Q. Do you know where it was carved?
A. Yes, we know where all our greenstone was carved.

Q. Do you know who the carver was?
A. For some of the individual one-off pieces we personally know the carvers, or we know the names of the carvers.

Q. What are the meanings of the different symbols and shapes?
A. Every piece is supplied with a meaning card explaining the different symbols.

Q. Will greenstone break if dropped onto a hard surface?
A. Yes, greenstone is a natural stone and will very likely damage or break if dropped onto a hard surface.

We stock a huge range of greenstone products, from pendants to meres and jewellery.

Paua information

Paua is the local name for the shellfish species Abalone Haliotis Iris, it is found only in the seas around New Zealand. This marine monovalve mollusc eats seaweed and clings to rocks at depths between 1 - 10 metres along the shoreline. Paua shell is the most colourful of all the abalone shells with colours that vary from greens and pinks to purples and blues. Some shells even have gold or crimson tonings and patterns. The lustre of the paua shell is similar to Mother of Pearl but much more vibrantly coloured.

We stock a large range of paua goods, from jewellery to cheese boards and albums with paua inserts.

Carved Bone

Historically Maori bone carvings were made from animal bone - dog, whale, with some even made from human bone! These days the bulk of mass produced carved bone is sourced from cattle. We carry a very extensive range of bone carvings made from cow bones. Whale bone is still used but it is not easily sourced and is getting more difficult to find. We have a good relationship with some of the best carvers of whale bone and carry some truly magnificent pieces. Whale bone can only be taken from whales that have died naturally and is only available to the Maori people. Other carvings we have are of tusk, deer antler and some wonderful scrimshaw on fossilised mammoth tusk and walrus tooth.

We stock many carved bone products by some of the best bone carvers in New Zealand.