The final step in jewelry manufacturing is polishing a newly created piece to a mirror-like finish. This is easily done with a motor powered polishing machine. The machine has a motor that turns a polishing wheel, called a wheel buff.

Some polishing machines have two arms since two wheel buffs are needed – one wheel is stiffer and used first and the second wheel is softer and used second. Wheels are usually five to six inches in diameter and are usually made of muslin.

The coarse wheel buff is coated with a tripoli polishing compound and buffs out heavy scratches and tool marks from the jewelry. Don’t be too heavy-handed or you will buff out the details in the metal. The softer wheel buff is coated with a rouge polishing compound and polishes the jewelry to a high shine. Use the coarse, tripoli-coated wheel first and the soft, rouge-coated wheel second. Zam silver polishing compound is an excellent choice for strictly silver jewelry.

A felt ring buff is needed to polish the inside of rings.

Scrub the jewelry between each compound used and when finished. Use kitchen ammonia and a toothbrush.

If you polish silver and gold, keep a tripoli…