Superb quality antique Edwardian era Nephrite Jade / Pounamu carved into a Maltese cross with applied 9ct rose gold Fern and ‘Kia Ora’ to the front, and plain to the verso allowing this one to be worn either way.
Kia ora is a Māori-language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It translates literally as "have life" or "be healthy", wishing the essence of life upon them.
This fine example also incorporates the national emblem of New Zealand - the silver Fern - which is considered a badge of honour by the people, products and services of our country that carry it.
Measuring a large 3.5 x 3.5cm not including the bale and quite heavy at 11.65 grams this highly symbolic pendant is rich in history, quite probably early Australian in origin (many early Jewellers in Australia catered to the NZ market) and looks wonderful on your favourite chain.
Please note chain is for display only
Very very good antique condition. No chips to Jade, gold work is lovely. No issues to note.Purchase Summary
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History of the Silver Fern
The silver fern is synonymous with achievement in New Zealand sport.
For more than 100 years, members of The New Zealand Team have been wearing the silver fern, a symbol that represents our national sporting hopes and dreams.
The silver fern became a symbol of bravery, sacrifice and allegiance when the New Zealand Army wore it during the Boer War at the turn of the 20th century. The fern is engraved on the tombstones of those who New Zealanders fell during both World Wars. Our All Blacks Teams also wore it from 1893 as part of their official uniform.
The 'silver fern' Cyathea dealbata – ponga in te reo Māori – is a species of tree fern only found in New Zealand. This distinctly New Zealand symbol is considered a badge of honour by the people, products and services of our country that carry it.
Before Europeans colonised New Zealand, Maori valued the silver fern for a few reasons. They recognized it had healing properties. The fronds of the plant can be peeled; the starchy pith removed, and applied as a treatment for ulcers, boils and foot infections. Because of its bright underside, the leaf would be lain down at nighttime silver side up, and used as a marker for navigation.
And finally, the silver fern acted as a food source. The pith was a great source of starch and the young fronds were also eaten. As a result the fern symbol has always had an important meaning to Maori, and can be commonly seen in traditional Maori carving.
Pounamu or greenstone are terms for several types of hard and durable stone found in southern New Zealand. They are highly valued in New Zealand, and carvings made from pounamu play an important role in Māori culture. Geologically, pounamu are usually nephrite jade, bowenite, or serpentinite