This is the stone, which was carefully selected for the Nga Hau E Wha Sculpture. While cutting Pounamu, water is used to keep the stone from heating up and prevent the dust from being inhaled. Each slab takes 20-30 minutes to cut.
Each of the four slabs took a week each to carve, with the entire piece taking a total of 4 weeks to complete. Our Pounamu is Nephrite which, on the Mohs scale is recorded to be a 6.0 in hardness.
Due to the hardness of Nephrite, diamond-impregnanted tools must be used to carve Pounamu.