Bowenite resides in the Serpentinite family as a harder, more compact variety of Antigorite. This semi-precious gemstone is so strong, it's regularly used in the forging of tools, weapons and heavy-use jewelry. It's a common stone used by Fabergé.
The stone holds special significance to the Ngāi Tahu iwi on whose traditional lands on the South Island of New Zealand most deposits are found. The South Island deposits are legally protected, and taking material without Ngāi Tahu permission has led to prosecutions.