The West Coast is a haven for artisans who gain inspiration from the landscape and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle that exists here. An extensive range of galleries and craft shops showcase locally made pieces. As well as the traditional mediums used in arts and crafts, the West Coast is home to some unique New Zealand resources. Jade (Pounamu or Greenstone, as it is also known) has its only significant source on the South Island's West Coast. Treasured by the Maori for its incredible strength and beauty, it plays a significant part in Maori culture as a much sought after and sacred resource. Today it is carved into magnificent sculptures and jewellery pieces, which are exhibited in galleries throughout the region. The geological forces that combined to create Jade deposits also produced another unique gemstone - Ruby Rock. Found nowhere else in the world, beautiful jewellery pieces are created from this stone.
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