The average time to cut a single slab of NZ Jade is 6 hours and is cut with diamond impregnated blades or tools.
To cut jade stone, diamond impregnated tools are used as diamond is one of the hardest minerals on the planet. NZ pounamu, which is nephrite jade, is rated a 6.5 on the mohs scale, with diamonds being a 10, making diamond the faster and better mineral to use to carve our beautiful stone.
What was used to carve NZ greenstone before diamond impregnated tools?
Before the use of diamond impregnated tools, quarts (mohs scale rating of 7) along with sandstone were used to the slowly grind NZ jade into shapes. This style of carving was a very long and tedious process with some hand carved Hei Tiki taking as long as 2 years to be carved. Now with diamond impregnated tools, Hei Tiki can take between 3-5 days to carve depending on how much flow and depth is used.
This stone pictured in the video is destined for a very large commissioned piece.