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 Post subject: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:58 pm 
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I assume you don't use zam or any other compound that one would use on metal.


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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:07 am 
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Gems are neither buffed nor shined but polished with micro diamond powder or chemical polishes such as tin oxide or chrome oxide.


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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:33 pm 
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To elaborate a bit on Tom's comment, the basic stages of cutting a gemstone are shaping, cutting, pre-polishing, and polishing, all done on flat spinning wheels. If a faceted stone needs a touch-up, then you have to put it back in the faceting machine and re-do the polishing (and occasionally the pre-polishing) step. There is no "just touch it to a polishing buff" for faceted stones.

For cabochons, depending on how it's set, you may not need to remove the stone.

As an aside, Zam is specifically used in some cases because you can polish the metal without messing up a cab (if it's a harder stone).

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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:32 am 
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One thing to note, of course is that it depends on the hardness of the gem and many other factors.

Take, a touching up of fingerprints for example.

What about eyeglasses?

Did you know that some paper towels and shirts can scratch your eyeglasses?

Glass is soft, but some gems are softer.

For example, unrelated, but related.

I make tools for glass, made of graphite. Graphite is soft.

Know what the final polishing is done with?

Newspaper. Progressively finer sandpaper, then newspaper to give it the finest and cheapest polish.

Then wet newpaper.

So, it puts everyday household abrasives into perspective a little bit perhaps.

There is a lot too learn in polishing of any material, and I have to do a lot of that research myself.


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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:11 pm 
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If you have a moderately hard FINISHED gem (quartz or harder - amethyst, citrine, etc.)and it shows hard water film on its facets or scum on the back from everyday wear that normal jewelry cleaning won't take off, get a 3/4 or 1" soft bristle brush for your flex shaft, and apply Fabulustre polish compound or white rouge. Use moderate pressure and speed, and gentle polish the affected facets - don't over do it or you could round facet junctions. Zam is more aggressive, so don't use it. Be careful not to let the brush yank the gem out of your fingers and throw it across a room...

Another option is to rub with a wet baking soda compound between your fingers or with a cloth.

I am both a lapidarist and a goldsmith, so if this messed gems up I would be repolishing for free..... I spiff up most colored gems that I am pulling for resetting or retipping.

As always, do this at your own risk regarding damage or injury to yourself or any gem. Use extreme caution for high-value gems.

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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:19 am 
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White rouge? I thought white rouge was alumina, which of course is active as a polishing compound on a wide range of gems. Does it really not have any effect in that direction when used this way?

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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Scarodactyl wrote:
White rouge? I thought white rouge was alumina, which of course is active as a polishing compound on a wide range of gems. Does it really not have any effect in that direction when used this way?


Yes, white rouge, Zam, and Fabulustre are all alumina of various grades and binders. And yes, alumina is used as a polish for many gems, usually on a rigid metal lap. The soft brush with controlled speed and pressure will remove "stuff" off the gem surface, but if used with too much enthusiasm can turn a facet top in to a cabbed top. Hence the disclaimer. Personally, I do this holding the loose gem with the culet under a fingernail and the thumb pushing the gem upward - careful, or the gem will fly of to ??? Done carefully and in a limited fashion, there is no damage to the gem. But you might have a few fly before you get the hang of it - practice on old chipped gems in your trash box...

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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:03 pm 
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Try toothpaste, the abrasive is (just) soft enough not to scratch glass, the soap in it really cuts the grease and the bactericides stop nasties growing inside claw sets and other sheltered areas.


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 Post subject: Re: any special method to buff and shine a gem?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:52 am 
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If a gem has a truly good polish from the cutter just some solvent lik
e acetone will remove dirt and grease and bring the shine back...all my stones get this treatment right before being put to bed in a gem jar with the info on the outside mostly never to be touched by anyone that has n't already paid for it.


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