...Also I bought a selection that had rouge, tripoli, green
rouge, white rouge and I think yellow rouge. I use the red and
the tripoli all the time, but what the heck are the others good
Red rouge, as you’ve by now found, brings a wonderful, very high
shine to silver and yellow golds. But it has very very little
"cutting" action, so on harder materials, it will have hard time
bringing up that shine without a lot of tedius buffing.
The green and white rouges are for harder metals, like steels,
titanium, white golds, platinum etc. yellow rouge is somewhere
in the middle.
There are other distinctions too. All rouges tend to imbed a
little bit of themselves INTO the surface of the metal, with not
quite all of it cleaning back out, even in an ultrasonic. This
give rise to part of what is called “coloring” the metal. Most
of it is simply the depth of polish being enough that all you see
is sharply reflected light, without sense of the surface itself.
That’s called a “black” or “hard” or polish, sometimes. Red
rouge enhances that because of it’s dark red color. Many shops
use the yellow rouge as an all around polish for most of their
work. Especially with silversmiths, it’s popular.
But sometimes, especially with castings, the result is that the
metal can cause a little staining of clothes for a while, or
perhaps on some metal, that “color” just isn’t quite what’s
desired. Yellow rouge is also often used on silver and gold, and
it’s light color means that traces left on the metal won’t be
apparent or cause stains so much. Plus, it has a little more cut
to it, so any remaining fine scratches can be worked out without
having to go back to tripoli. And, it leaves a slightly softer
polish, without quite that “black” hard refelctivity. The result
is sometimes a better effect for some work, and it won’t show
quite the damage from even slight handling that a red rouge
Green rouge has the disadvantage of beeing green… That means
any residues are a mess. But it is a hard compound, and will
bring hard metals to a very high polish. Good on platinum
(though not quite as good as some of the polishes made especially
for platinum) or steel or white gold, especially.
White rouge is also a hard metals compound, but like yellow
rouge, it doesn’t bring up quite the same depth of polish. Has a
bit more cuttin action. Great for steels, not bad for white gold
or platinum. On softer metals, like silver of yellow golds, it
can be a bit scratchy.
Hope this helps.