USA – Taking our Paua Shell Jewellery to the world

United States Jewelry
Image by Egor Shitikov from Pixabay

We here at Ariki New Zealand jewellery pride ourselves on the high quality handcrafted jewellery items we produce each and every day from our factory in Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand. This pride extends to the fact that these precious pieces of jewellery are exported across the world so that people in other countries can also enjoy owning a treasured procession.

United States of America

The United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, a federal district (Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States), five major territories, and various minor islands.] The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico; the two other states, Alaska and Hawaii, are in the north-western part of North America and an archipelago in the mid-Pacific, respectively, while the territories are scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Native American Indian jewellery has a history dating back thousands of years. Tribes stretching from the southwest to the northeast have a rich history of jewellery making. These indigenous American peoples jewellery consist of all types including bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings; and are made from numerous materials including turquoise, bone, precious stones, semi-precious stones, silver, antlers, porcupine quills, and copper.

There is evidence as far back as 8,800 BC that the Paleo-Indians shaped stones and shells into jewellery pieces by using a thin stone drill.

The main reason American Indians wore jewellery was, as it is today, for adornment. It was also used to signify social class.

Turquoise has long been a dominant material in southwestern Native American jewellery. Representing the sky and known as the “fallen sky stone”, turquoise was believed to have life-giving powers and was cherished for its spiritual connection to Mother Earth.

Buy Jade Jewellery New Zealand

This fact reminds me of the special significance to nature that our own native people the Māori give to both the precious Paua Shell and Pounamu or Greenstone of which is featured across our range.


Image by Maraea from Pixabay

Pounamu is found in many places on the West Coast and is prized for its strength, durability and beauty. Used by the Māori for generations, it denotes great status. Its beauty is still well appreciated as it is found in many West Coast shops and galleries.

Please see my previous blogs regarding this precious Taonga or treasure and I am sure you will agree that it is surely something that would be treasured for a lifetime and beyond.

To me personally it is the quintessential symbol of the West Coast – the myriad of greens of the native rain forests – the swirling patterns of the cool clear rivers and the even coolness of the inclement climate experienced on “The Coast”.

Therefore the piece of Ariki New Zealand Jewellery which reminds me the most of my beloved West Coast is:


“For Māori, the native New Zealand people this triple twist symbol is also an eternity symbol. The triple twist refers to the bond between peoples, communities, or cultures rather than individuals. Traditionally given as an offering of friendship between different tribes. The shape represents loyalty and friendship that stays strong through the many challenges of life. It is inspired by the symbols of life and growth.

Buy Jade Jewellery New Zealand

This unique and beautiful piece of genuine New Zealand Greenstone or Pounamu as the Māori people have named it, has been hand carved and then polished to a high shine finish and would most definitely be a prized treasure for anyone who may receive it.

Māori and the sea

Maori Mural

Not surprisingly, given that New Zealand is surrounded by sea, our native New Zealand people Māori have a strong affinity with the ocean.

Oral storytelling is a vital element in Māori culture, and the story of demi-god Māui fishing Aotearoa from the sea has been passed down through the generations. The North Island (Te Ika a Māui) was the fish Māui caught and became home to Māui, his family and all Māori. The South Island became the waka (canoe) of Māui through the legend and is known as Te Waka a Māui (the canoe of Māui). Stewart Island, located to the south of the South Island is known as Te Punga a Māui (Māui’s anchor). The tangata whenua (people of the land) of New Zealand have always been great fishers and have special provision to fish under customary fishing regulations. Kaimoana (seafood) caught under the customary fishing regulations cannot be traded or sold.

We have several pieces of unique fine New Zealand Jewellery which honour this connection with our heritage and our oceans but my personal favourite is the W47 Hei Matau Koru

Pounamu Greenstone Pendant

Buy Jade Jewellery New Zealand

Our stylised genuine New Zealand Greenstone pendant pays homage to this strong relationship as well as having the distinctive Koru shape which symbolises new beginnings and growth.
This unique and beautiful piece of genuine New Zealand Greenstone or Pounamu as the Māori have named it, has been hand carved and then polished to a high shine finish and would most definitely be a prized treasure for anyone who may receive it.

Jade Brooches: Beautiful New Zealand Pounamu


For the people of New Zealand, the Greenstone or NZ Jade, popularly known as Pounamu, is beyond just a souvenir because it has a significant spiritual treasure. The beautiful New Zealand Pounamu can be found in different places in the West Coast. This stone has been prized for its beauty, durability and strength.
Historically, Pounamu was used by the Maori as personal ornaments, weapons and tools. It’s also a denotation of having a great status in the society. Nowadays, the beauty of Pounamu is still appreciated because these jade brooches can be found in several galleries and shops in the West Coast. Arahura River in the Jade Country is the birthplace of this beautiful Pounamu, in the north of Hokitika.

Guardian of Pounamu
According to the legend, Poutini is the guardian of the Pounamu. Poutini is also a Taniwha, a giant water-being who abducted Waitaiki, a beautiful Maori woman from the North Island. He took her to the south and to the Arahura River eventually. Tamaahua, the husband of Waitaiki gave them a chase. Poutini feared the determination and strength of Tamaahua but he wants Waitaiki for himself and that if he could not have her, no one should. He transformed Waitaiki into a Pounamu then rested her in the stony waters of the Arahura River. The fragments of Jade broke off and rolled down the river flowing to the seas are believed to be Waitaiki’s offspring.

Finding Pounamu on the Beach
For fossickers, you still have the chance to take home a Pounamu home. You can find pieces of Pounamu that were washed down by storm along the beach. The outer skin of jade brooches appears to be grey or milky and have a soapy texture. Sometimes, you can be lucky to find green pieces of Pounamu that are already smoothed due to natural processes. However, remember that Pounamu that are found somewhere else are not allowed to be taken. You can only be a fossicker on beaches.

Buying Pounamu
Pounamu are very strong jade brooches known for the beauty they possess. Local artisans and Maori were all drawn to the power of these jade brooches for many centuries and it’s now widely-used in the making of sculptures and jewelry. There are 5 main types of New Zealand Pounamu: Kahurangi, Kkopu, Inanga, Kawakawa and Tangiwai. All of these types have their own unique features and look.
One of the finest arts and crafts companies is Ariki New Zealand Greenstone Jewellery. The company works with the best Pounamu carvers and greenstone artists. All of Ariki’s artists share a common passion for jade brooches and are purely-driven to create beautiful carvings with the highest standards. They all work tirelessly to craft pieces of Pounamu carvings and greenstone jewelry that you can buy.

Ariki Greenstone Jewellery
Ariki New Zealand Greenstone Jewellery carves life into stone. Each of the pieces they created is hand-finished to ensure quality. Jade brooches have soft finishes, smooth lines, no cuts and no scratches. The products they sell are unique and personalized. If you want to buy your own New Zealand Pounamu greenstone, you can visit to find out more about the carvings, greenstones and sculptures available for purchase.

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