Polishing - adding the final touches

Most of our rings come in raw form from the caster totally unfinished while some only require polishing. However, most will require reworking of some kind, usually sizing or reshaping, not to mention setting stones. Regardless, every job ends with the ring being polished in one way or another. Most of our rings are hand-polished using a polishing motor as below, and then cleaned.

Many rings are given a preliminary polish with a barrel polisher, before additional work is done to the ring. The rings go into the barrel, along with a solution of water and cleaning compound, and some stainless steel shot different size balls and spiky shapes. The barrel rotates and the solution is mixed around, making the rings bounce off the steel to end up with an even finish.

Polishing the ring on a polishing machine
Here a ring is being polished on a polishing machine or "buffer."

The motor has spindles that have buffing wheels attached, for polishing and buffing both the outside and inside of the ring. These buffing wheels are used to do the actual pre-polishing and buffing, and are made of different materials depending on the finish required. These wheels spin at up to 21,000 rpm and contain abrasive compounds to create a smooth finish, erasing visible traces of sanding and filing.They are rubbed with one of a range of polishing compounds, rouges or waxes depending on the need:

  • Calico wheels are used to create a rough finish in the first stages of polishing

  • Swan's down is used to add the final shine to a mirror finished ring.

  • Scotchbrite, Beartex or frosting wheels are used to apply matte and satin finishes to a ring.

  • Needles are used to create a stardust finish, the needles are attached to the wheel and spin freely - creating an even, sparkling surface as they hit the ring.

Finger felts are used to polish the insides of rings. A thin "dental" brush can be used to get into the crevices where a ring has intricate work, like diamonds set, to ensure that the entire ring is properly polished and shiny. After multiple stages of using finer and finer polishing compounds and when the jeweler is positive that there is no more dirt, dents, scratches, porosity or any other blemishes the ring is ready for its ultrasonic cleaning. Then, after a final inspection and packing it is ready to be sent out to the customer.

Our workshops spend most of their time making custom designed jewelry for customers. If you have something in mind that you can't find on the website please contact us. Take a look at our custom ring design service page and let us know what your ideas are!

 
Resizing a ring can involve cutting the
ring and adding additional metal

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