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Jewelry Finishing


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The last stage in jewelry design is finishing. During this stage, jewelry is filed, sanded, and polished.

jewelry finishing tools

Finishing Tools

Finishing tools include files, "emery sticks" made of wet and dry paper affixed to ruler-length wood, flexible shaft tools, buffing machines, steel burnishers, and polishing threads.


Filing removes rough edges and creates a smooth finish. Depending upon the application and the intended result, a jeweler may use a flat file, a round file, a triangular file, or a square file.


Sanding is one of the most important processes in finishing, and is done to remove filing marks. To begin the sanding process, begin with coarse 220-, 320-, and 400-grit emery paper. Once the filing marks are completely removed, finer sandpaper in grits of 600-, 800-, or 1,000-grit paper will remove the marks left by the coarser sandpaper. When the sanding process is done, you're ready to polish.

jewelry polishing tools


Polishing is done using a flexible shaft tool outfitted with muslin or felt wheels. Different types of abrasive types of compounds are used to result in different finishes.

Steel burnishers are used to give a mirror-like shine to finished edges, while thin polishing threads can be used to polish and refine the inside of small holes.

A buffing machine can also be used to polish jewelry. When using a buffing machine, always be sure to wear the proper safety equipment, and stay safe by educating yourself on how to use the buffer.

jeweler buffing a golf ring on a buffing machine
Jeweler Buffing a Gold Ring on a Buffing Machine

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Jewelry Finishing