" In the beginning man stumbled helplessly over the earth.beset by wild beasts, until the storm god above took pity.He forged a rainbow into Jade axes and tossed them to Earth for man to discover"
Just as the myth suggests, Jade is found in many colors all over the earth, from white through to black, from red through blue from golden to transparent. Although in New Zealand the green variety of hues are more commonly found. Nephrite is the oldest known traded stone in the history of man kind.From Neanderthal Man through to Cro-mag-non Man, almost all stone aged people discovered the wonder of Jade. As it yielded durable weapons and tools for our ancestors to wield and use in a day to day fashion, as if it was a best friend,or a member of a family. Many of whom revered dearly.
Jade is a mixture of many rocks - forming minerals, actinolite and tremolite. To become Jade these two crystallized minerals are pulverized between tectonic plates and are heated to such an extent that they become a molten liquid. The Jade cools at different rates and pressures and produces unique characteristics.
In New Zealand, Jade is found only on the West Coast of the South Island. It can be found in reefs close to fault lines but has also been distributed to lowland areas by glacial action. The recovery of Jade is very gentle on the environment as it is "found" on the surface rather than mined by traditional methods.
Flower Jade is one of the most intriguing and rare varieties of Jade in New Zealand. The Jade itself is usually green in color with beautifully contrasting patterns of cream, brown or yellow inclusions.The colors may take the form of fissures or cracks in the stone where natural chemicals such as iron have entered during its formation.
Kokopu is one of New Zealand's rare and exquisite varieties of nephrite jade.It is the Maori name for three pieces of native freshwater fish. They are combination of olive green, dark brown and yellowish colorings. Nephrite jade with similar colors and markings or brown spots is refereed to as kokopu or trout stone.
Inanga was the mostly highly prized type of jade by the Maori for ornaments and meres. It is pearly - white or Grey - green color. The name inanga comes from the similar colorings of the whitebait or inanga.