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Argillite, or Pakohe, is an indurated mudstone which plays a significant role in Maori history.

Particularly associated with the Nelson-Marlborough region of New Zealand, early Maori communities recognised its superior qualities of hardness, strength, and ability to hold a sharpened edge, which made it ideal for making tools (especially adzes) and weapons.

Recently a customer asked me to make a men’s wedding band utilising a piece of pakohe, part of which was also used in his partner’s wedding band.

I loved the sentimental (and historical) significance of the stone. There’s something really special about creating a piece of wearable art with an earth-created stone that has holds so much meaning – not only to the person wearing it, but to the generations who have passed before.

Here’s the finished ring, which I hand crafted in 9ct white gold.

Custom argillite and white gold ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.