Jade ID Guide
The name Jade refers to two different metamorphic rocks – Jadeite and Nephrite. New Zealand Jade, also known as Pounamu or Greenstone, is all Nephrite. Nephrite is formed from two minerals; Tremolite, which has a starburst crystal structure, and Actinolite, which has long wavy fibres. When “felted” together by geological processes they produce a stone tougher than steel.
The green colour of Jade is due to the presence of iron which over time oxidises (rusts) to form the brownish rind we often see on the outside of Jade boulders. Please note that these are my own interpretations of the Maori and modern names given to New Zealand Jade. All of the boulders you can see below are examples from my own personal collection, many of which are quite rare.