Hand Carved Jade Pendants and Necklaces - Carved in New Zealand by Local Artists and Jade Carvers
This collection contains our wide selection of handcrafted New Zealand Jade Jewellery. Local artists carve all of our pendants and necklaces from the highest quality New Zealand jade.
Scroll down, and you can view the individual jade necklaces and pendants that we have available for sale. For every item, we provide a description of the materials used, and we describe and explain the significance of the design and its traditional meaning.
We have taken individual photographs and brief videos of each piece, and we provide detailed information on the physical dimensions of every pendant and necklace. We are proud to provide unique jewellery, handcrafted from rare and beautiful New Zealand jade.
Jade carving has a long tradition in New Zealand. Early Māori recognised the material as valuable for making tools, jewellery and for negotiating and striking agreements and establishing relationships among tribes to promote trade. Pounamu, as it is named in Māori, was a very early and valuable form of tender.
With the advent of the iron age, jade's use for making tools diminished and it became primarily valued for its rarity and beauty. This led to a stronger focus on carving jewellery and sculptural pieces in jade. Interestingly, early designs paid tribute to things important to Māori. A matau (or hook) design, a toki, or adze – both objects that were fundamental to a tribes survival, captured in valuable pounamu and worn in honour of these valuable tools.
Jewellery was also carved with spiritual meaning:
The Manaia, which is believed to be a rendition of a kind God, a pendant worn to establish a connection with ancestors
The Tiki – First Man, a symbol of loyalty and strength and believed to foster fertility
The Pikorua, or twist – a symbol of relationships and their enduring and strong foundations. Often gifted to recognise partnerships between individuals, but also given across tribal boundaries to establish connections for trade and to negotiate peace
The Wheku – the face of an ancestor. These were typically carved in wood and positioned at the gable of a meeting house. A symbol of honour to ancestral spirits. These are also carved in jade and worn as recognition of heritage and regard for one's ancestors.
If you are interested in understanding more about the various carving designs and the spiritual qualities of jade, you can find more information HERE.
Jade is not only a beautiful material, but it is also very tough. In New Zealand, it is formed in our South Island's alpine fault under immense heat and pressure. The molten rock folds, twists and mixes, changing crystalline structures and producing a greenstone of beauty and strength – New Zealand Pounamu. This means that jade jewellery is resilient and will last forever if cared for.
We provide all pieces on hand-plaited, highest quality polyester cord. This is a flexible and strong cord that will last a long time and can be replaced from time to time if necessary. We can make these cords adjustable, or provide then at a fixed length determined by you, with a loop and jade toggle fixture – your choice. Generally, we will supply the pendants with an adjustable cord so that you can position the piece to suit.
Somewhat unique to New Zealand jade is the variation in colour and structure of the stone found here. Minerals around the melting rock become included in the molten mass, and they change the colour and look of the jade as it cools and solidifies. This has produced some glorious variations in our local jade, making it visually unique and very Kiwi. The physical composition of New Zealand jade is the same as nephrite jade found in other parts of the world, but our jade, our pounamu is steeped with our history and certainly has captured and contains a piece of our land.
In New Zealand jade carvings have a spiritual significance that comes from the Māori tradition of handing significant pieces of jade art down through their families. They believe that jade absorbs and hold mana, or the spirit, of every person who has worn it. This gives specific pieces of jade historical and familial value – they become family heirlooms and are regarded as 'Taonga' or treasures. Because the spirits of ancestors are believed to be captured in the stone, these pieces are treated as family members - revered and respected. They form a significant part of the family history, and it is not unusual for the history of the family to be verbally passed on with the particular piece of jade.
This high regard for jade is not unique to New Zealand. Many other cultures also have profound spiritual respect for jade, and it can be found recorded in their histories – the Chinese have mined and worked jade for over 9,000 years and regard it as a symbol of wealth and status. They also, like Māori, believe that it can have a positive impact on physical and mental well-being.
An old Chinese proverb says "Gold has a price, Jade is priceless" – it is the unique quality of each piece of jade that stands it apart from other valuable gemstones. This is one of the qualities that is spectacularly evident in jade from New Zealand and which ensures that each piece of hand carved jewellery is individual and unique.
To read more about the different types of New Zealand Jade we use for our jewellery, we have more information for you HERE.
We guarantee the quality of our jewellery and will accept returns up to 30 days of your receipt if the piece you have selected isn't quite what you expected - see our returns policy HERE.
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