The Meanings of Different New Zealand Greenstone Shapes

The Meanings of Different New Zealand Greenstone Shapes

The Meanings of Different New Zealand Greenstone Shapes

Where did Greenstone come from?
Can you buy yourself a Greenstone?
How to Choose Pounamu
1. Toki/Adze
2. Koru/Spiral
3. Manaia
4. Heart
5. Pikorua/Twist
6. Hei Matau/Fish Hook
7. Hei Tiki
8. Teardrop/Roimata
9. Whale Tail/Dolphin
10. Circular
11. Cross
Greenstone Healing Properties

For years, the Maori people of New Zealand used Pounamu Greenstone for its mystical properties. However, the stone's most crucial characteristic is that it represents the genuineness of the relationships that we share with our friends and family. 

As a result, the stone symbolizes friendship, love, and gratitude for a special loved one in your life. The stone has a mysterious quality to it; that's why it is said to invite positivity into one's life. This is the kind of stone that would be handed down the generations since the individual who owns it has a strong emotional attachment to it. 💚

Where did Greenstone come from?

Culturally significant to Māori, the story of the origin of Greenstone varies. One such story tells of a taniwha named Poutini who fell in love with a beautiful woman, Waitaiki, when he saw her bathing in the river. When Waitaiki’s husband chased Poutini, Poutini kidnapped Waitaiki and turned her into his essence, a pounamu, and laid her in the riverbed near a stream that’s now known as Waitaiki.

Can you buy yourself a Greenstone?


In New Zealand, purchasing a Greenstone for oneself is not customary. However, some people may be driven by personal ideas that differ from Maori customs, which is not recommended

Moreover, greenstone is usually gifted or inherited, passing its power from generation to generation, adding to each person’s own spiritual experience. Whanau maintain and value these heirloom pieces as they help to keep a connection with their heritage.

When gifted from one person to another, Greenstone helps to form a lifelong bond between the two people. As it symbolises the authenticity of the bonds between our family and friends, Greenstone is customarily not bought for oneself, but rather to gift to someone who could benefit from its power and healing properties.

How to Choose Pounamu?

While choosing a Pounamu you could turn to the peak of the sentient being you are but do not over-complicate it. Simply put, browse through our beautiful catalogue and take a good look. Let the stone pick YOU. Let it resonate with the being you are and what you believe in, let it bring you the luck you deserve and the charm it holds. 

Today, there are many shapes of Pounamu Greenstone available. Here are the meanings of the different jade designs:


The Toki, or adze, was designed as a practical instrument, most widely incorporated in axes and a ceremonial symbol made solely for chiefs and warriors. It is used to express their supremacy and indicate their social hierarchy.

Nowadays, Toki is carried as a symbol of power. However, Toki Pounamu Greenstones are typically given to symbolize perseverance, dedication, bravery, and success, which honors the link between the past and the present. 💪🏼


The Koru is a contemporary Maori Pounamu Greenstone design that is widely recognized. Its spiral shape resembles endless motion. The pattern represents new life and growth, and the inner curl symbolizes coming back to the beginning. With that, the Koru mimics both the concept of change and the notion of consistency.

Since Koru jade necklaces are usually given as gifts for momentous events, it is ideal for starting a new chapter in life, such as moving out to a new house, getting married, or having their first child. So if you know someone who's going through life changes, show your support through a gift of Koru necklace. 🟢


According to legend, the Manaia Pounamu Greenstone design represents the messenger connecting gods and humans. Typically, it is carved with a bird's head, a man's body, and a fish's tail. Manaia Greenston has great healing powers and serves as guide for the soul on its journey to paradise. ✨

Manaia jade pendants differ slightly from iwi to iwi, but they are frequently shown as three-fingered, symbolizing the trifecta of birth, life, and death. In addition, a fourth finger is often portrayed, representing the circular patterns of the life cycle and eternity.


Heart jade designs are the newer ones in history. These shapes symbolize love, unity, and togetherness, much as the implications of hearts in modern society. 

Gift them to people you care about, especially those who put their hearts on their sleeves. These selfless people deserve to be reminded that you appreciate their presence in your life. 💚


Because of its meaning, the Maori twist symbol is the most widely known among the pounamu greenstone designs. The twist represents the connection between the two humans, whether by companionship, romantic relationship, or kinship. 👫🏼

The twist symbol refers to the unbreakable link between two people, whether they are parted for brief or extended periods. It is reminiscent of these people's life pathways and how they would always come back together. With that, the Maori twist jade necklace is a common present among partners, families, friends, and even those who have lost someone.


The fish hook, or hei matau, has been prominent in Maori culture since pre-colonial times and represents love for the ocean, as Maori people's ancestors relied on the sea for fishing and sailing. With designs ranging from realistic to modern ones, wearing one brings good fortune when traveling across waters. In essence, the fish hook pounamu greenstone necklace represents good fortune, prosperity, healthy life, and safe travel. 🚢


The Hei Tiki Pounamu Greenstone is based on the Polynesian tiki symbol, usually known as human-shaped totem poles built from stone and wood. It is an ode to the forefathers and a sign of remembrance of ancestors. It is also said that jade necklaces were considered to absorb the spirits of those who had them before. So, they can be conduits for ancient wisdom, spirituality, and energy. That's why a tiki necklace wearer is thought to have inner balance and strength, as well as profound insight and a strong mind. 😌


The Teardrop, or Roimata Pounamu Greenstone, is known as the calming stone. It usually refers to the connection of the heart and emotions. This emblem, according to Maori folklore, depicts the tears shed by albatross birds as they mourn.

Known as a representation of grief, Roimata would be given as a sign of awareness of a person's pain or loss, a reminder that you are there for them. It can also represent recovery, comfort, empathy, and unity. 👭👫🏼



During the Great Migration, whales and dolphins are thought to have assisted some Maori in navigating their passage across the South Pacific. When there are many whales in a location, it usually means there aren't any sharks. 

Whale tails and dolphins jade pendant are thus symbols of protection for travelers on all types of transportation. Whale tails and dolphin greenstone necklaces are considered to be symbols of wisdom, compassion, and love. These greenstone pendants are ideal for those who love the sea and these magnificent, sacred creatures.  🐋🐬


The Circular Pounamu Greenstone reflects nature's and life's continuous cycle. For Maori people, this emblem signifies their belief that the world has neither beginning nor end. It also represents the dynamic nature of several aspects of life, such as seasons, relationships, health, and energy, among others. It is perfect for someone who wants to have inner peace and balance. 🧘🏻‍♀️


This beautiful jade pendant symbolizes faith and peace. The Cross is a timeless symbol of spirituality and confidence, making it the perfect gift for a particular person. 🌻

Greenstone Healing Properties

Greenstone is said to have many healing abilities, including protecting you from negative energies and giving you strength and power that may be lacking. It helps to increase energy and stamina, giving you motivation to get through any struggles you may be facing. 💪🏼

Wearing the stone in a pendant form is the best way to receive the full benefits of its healing powers as it activates a sort of shield around you to protect you from any negativity.

You can also keep a piece of Pounamu under your pillow at night to help protect you from any bad dreams and to help you feel motivated and energised when you begin your day.

Final Thoughts

New Zealand Pounamu Greenstone contains a tremendous quantity of energy that quickly replenishes lost energy and enthusiasm. With that, these stones can help those who lack the chi energy that motivates us to move every day and achieve the goals we set for ourselves. To enjoy the overall healing stone's mystical powers, wear it or place it under your pillow every night.

A beautiful, unique piece of Māori and New Zealand culture, a Greenstone pendant is a wonderful and significant gift to give to a loved one who can treasure it for years to come.

All of our Greenstone pieces are handmade locally in the South Island of New Zealand.

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