Fabricating jewelry leaves file marks, hammer marks, oil, and residue on the silver. The final step in bringing a design to life is polishing.
I am again going with a product name – Zam. It is a buffing compound used in finishing and polishing your jewelry piece.
The process of finishing requires a few different steps that may vary depending on the look you want to achieve. The piece can be oxidized, buffed to a dull shine, or highly polished using a variety of methods.
The finishing steps may include:
- Filing, sanding, and emerying to remove file marks, unintended tool marks, and smoothing out solder joins.
- For a dull shine and often for an oxidized piece, the surface will be brushed with a brass brush using simple soap and water.
- Initial polishing stage uses fairly aggressive compounds to lightly remove the top layer of the surface of the silver. There are different levels of grit in the compounds. Zam falls into this initial stage, but is not the most aggressive compounds available.
- Final polishing stages use compounds with color to enhance the underlying luster of the metal – these are called rouges (red rouge is on almost all jeweler’s benches. It contains iron oxide to buff the surface of the metal.
It is not unusual for a jeweler to have a tumbler loaded with stainless steel shot to polish silver jewelry.It is recommended to set stones after tumbling,however.