Greenstone and New Zealand jade are both names for the hard, durable highly valued green stone, traditionally used by New Zealand Māori for making tools, weapons and jewellery. Pounamu is its traditional Māori name.
If you’re traveling South from Cape Foulwind, I recommend a stop at The Pounamu Man in Charleston, a leisurely 20-30 minute drive South from Cape Foulwind.
Our Visit to The Pounamu Man, Charleston
Paul Honey is the Pounamu Man; and he’s a born and bred coaster.
Whilst Paul has an unassuming showroom in the front of his home, there’s a veritable treasure trove of Pounamu on display. Don’t be put off by the rustic exterior, or the less than pristine display cabinets – if you are after some genuine West Coast Pounamu at affordable prices, this is the place to go.
Pounamu refers to several types of hard, durable and highly valued nephrite jade, bowenite, or serpentinite stone found in southern New Zealand.
Pounamu is the Māori name. These rocks are also generically known as “greenstone” in New Zealand English. – Wikapedia
Although it’s increasingly common for people to buy a piece of greenstone for themselves, traditionally Maori believe Pounamu should be gifted. Some pieces were recognized as having their own spirits, choosing their wearer, so carving or taking one for yourself was extremely bad luck.
This tradition was in the back of my mind when I picked out two lovely Pounamu necklaces for my Mum & Aunt, the day we visited the Pounamu Man in Charleston. I wanted them both to have a little piece of the beautiful West Coast to remember their trip to the South Island.
Email Paul Honey, The Pounamu Man, Charleston
There are a number of Westport Retailers who also have a range of Pounamu and Greenstone Jewellery.
A few are listed below;
- Surf Fevah, 128 Palmerston St, Westport, Ph 03 789 6911
- Heritage Jewellers, 174 Palmerston Street, Westport, Ph 03 789 8630
- The cute little Art Gallery next to Freckles Cafe Palmerston St, Westport
For more information about West Coast Pounamu, visit the Tourism West Coast website