400+ pound Wyoming Jade boulder cut in Lander Thursday

(Lander, WY) – Prompted by County 10’s post about the 24,000+ pounds of Wyoming Jade being moved, a Denver concrete cutting company reached out to the new boulder owners and offered to cut them since there isn’t a known saw in Wyoming able to make the cut.

The owners, David Freitag and Nachalo Faris, wanted to keep their boulders as they are but shared with the Colorado company, Russ T. Diamonds, there is a Wyoming Jade boulder estimated to weigh between 400-450 pounds they could cut.

This boulder is the last of four found at least 60 years ago by Wyoming Jade prospectors Bert and Verla Rhoads, according to their grandson Ken Rhoads. The other three were sold over the years. The location in Wyoming where they were found, unfortunately, isn’t known.

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On February 4th, professional concrete cutter Mike Palma, and professional concrete sawyer and driller Francisco Rosario left Denver in the early morning hours to make their first-ever Jade cut.

Witnessing the cutting of a Wyoming Jade boulder of this size – approximately 14″ x 36″ (at its tallest/longest points) – was a first for everyone in attendance. The largest noted by David was about the size of a football.

Like most things in the rock and gem world, you don’t fully know what you have until you open it up (or at least my understanding of it). The Wyoming Jade experts on-site, David, Ken and Nachalo, decided it would be best to cut the two ends and save the integrity of the middle.

With diamond concrete blades on hand and ring saws, Mike began the first cut which took nearly 30 minutes. Check out the video of the first cut below.

After the initial cut, Mike shared this was the hardest thing he’s ever cut. There was an outer softer layer, but the inside was much harder, he explained.

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Still needs polishing to determine the exact coloring of the Jade, but below is a photo of the inside.

County 10 Photo – First cut from a 400+ pound Wyoming Jade boulder

Anxious to give the track saw a try in cutting the second side, they gave it their best attempt.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t stable enough to make the full cut.

County 10 Photo – Francisco Rosario attempting to use the track saw for the second cut

Mike finished the second cut by hand which took about the same time as the first.

Like we shared above, this was their first Jade cut and Mike said, “we are excited to cut more and we learned a lot.”

County 10 Photo – Track saw not successful and the second cut goes back to the hand saw

The next phase for this Wyoming Jade boulder has not been fully determined yet, but we hope to share some photos once the pieces have been polished.

You can learn more history about Bert and Verla Rhoads in our previous post here.

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