Pounamu: New Zealand’s Taonga

Rowena Watson Jewellers and Beadz Unlimited lovingly stock one of the most beautiful and comprehensive collections of pounamu in New Zealand.

We only stock New Zealand greenstone and have a full range of pounamu, from simple but beautiful pieces for backpackers and beads for making your own jewellery through to exquisite artist made carvings.

All our pounamu carvers are incredibly talented. Jeremy has been carving since he was 12 and his collection of pieces with Marsden Flower is sublime. This pounamu comes from the Greymouth area of the West Coast. Jeremy cuts the stone to incorporate the colour into the piece and he often has a highly polished finish which adds beauty to the whole carving.

Rowena has a great love for pounamu. She has passed on this love to her staff for the work of the carvers from across the country. One of the team’s greatest joys is unpacking the pounamu as it arrives. From the simplest pepe toki for babies to the most complex carving made with incredible care and love every Taonga is cherished by us before it reaches its new home in your hands.

Rowena is of Ngāi Tahu descent on her dad’s side. Both her parents owned farms in the Ouruhia area of Christchurch and her mother’s farm was a stopping off point for Rowena’s ancestors before they crossed the Styx River as they travelled back from the sea with kaimoana to Kaiapoi .

Over the years many middens and adze were found on this pathway and have been donated to the Canterbury Museum. 

Rowena’s great great grandmother, Irahapeti, lived at Kaiapoi during the time that Te Rauparaha laid siege. Irahapeti was a young woman at this time and walked with several others to Riverton in Southland to escape. No mean feat through rivers and native bushland.

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