Authentic New Zealand Pounamu displays a unique traceability code. Only licensed individuals or businesses can use this mark, as only those following specific regulations can purchase the raw stone from Ngāi Tahu.
The reasoning behind this system is simple – it seeks to end the current sham behind many current sales. Much of this product is sold under the impression that it is genuine New Zealand Greenstone, or Pounamu, carved by indigenous Māori artisans.
Look closer. A hard green surface can hide a counterfeit past...
However significant quantities of the jade and greenstone products made in New Zealand are done so with raw stone imported from overseas – in particular Canada, China and Siberia. Furthermore, many carved jade pieces sold here are manufactured in China.
The authentication scheme led by the iwi guarantees each piece has been obtained legitimately and treated with appropriate cultural values. When entered online, the code attached to the carving identifies the origin and whakapapa (genealogy) of the stone.