Possibly the most distinctive variety of pounamu, nephrite jade used to be more commonly known as greenstone. Although it appears all over the world, in New Zealand nephrite can only be found on the West Coast of Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) – the island that carries its name. Considered a taonga (treasure) nephrite is highly valued for the luminous green hue that carries in it the colour of the forests and rivers where it lives. The appearance and colour of nephrite can vary widely between smooth and uniform, or complex and multi-faceted with highlights of black, white, yellow and gold.
Nephrite jade possesses revitalizing energy and has been used by cultures all over the world to speed healing and bring balance to body and mind.