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Getting mirror polish finish in 24K Jewelry


#1

Hello,

I am from Kathmandu, Nepal. I run a small workshop where we produce 24k gold jewelry through casting machine. Our primary challenge has been with the polishing of the finished pieces. We use a burnisher to get as much mirror shine as we could. Unfortunately, it does not last for long owing to the nature of 24k gold being soft. Is there any technology or chemical application that could be used to achieve lasting mirror-like shine in 24k gold jewelry? Thanks.


#2

Hello Bajara,
In my experience (we did one of our gold chest sets in 24 k) the only way I found to get a lasting high finish was with a very highly polished , hard steel , hand burnisher. This requires quite a bit of pressure because you are essentially compressing the metal, increasing it’s surface hardness as you rub it. A parallel would be shot peening. Neither of these are very production friendly and 24K castings are particularly soft.
I’ve seen hammered work with the same result, but again, the peening end of the hammer has to be mirror finished.
It’s like trying to polish butter… but I have done it and it will last.
Anyone else???
Thanks, Jim


#3

My husband and I use 24 KT for some of our personal jewelry. We use a
tumbler with stainless steel shot and tumbler soap to get a mirror polish.
It leaves a beautiful shine. It does not stay for too long on rings. It
lasts a little longer if the pieces are work hardened, but still subject to
abrasions and dings. Earrings and pendants stay shiny much longer.
Have you tried 22 or 20 KT gold? I have several work hardened bangle
bracelets in 20-22 KT and they have held up better than my 24 KT jewelry.
They still have that high karat rich color with more strength.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#4

Hello Ms. Jo Haemer,

Thank you very much for your suggestion. We do have patented vibrator machine bought from China for high shine polishing. It does work but the as I mentioned in my first post and as stated your message too, it doesn’t last for long. I have heard of some Nano-coating application which is applied to the polished pieces to retain its shining for a longer time. Is there any such thing in your knowledge? I have heard about the electropolishing system too. I, however, do not know if the system does work on 24k gold jewelry as well.

In Nepal, 80% of the gold jewelry are made in 24k gold. However, 22k also is gaining the market grip but in very slow pace.

By the way, I had a brief peek in into your website. Your creations are charming.

Best regards,

Binod Bajracharya


#5

Thank you Binod.
A nano coating or an electro plated finish are both such thin layers that
I’m afraid that they wouldn’t last with every day wear on a ring or a
bangle bracelet. A coating on pendants or earrings would last longer.
It’s just the nature of 24 to get dinged up. Wish I could be more help.
Can you post photos of your work? We’d all love to see what you are
making.
Jo


#6

Hello Jo Haemer,

Here are some of the works that we have been doing in our workshop. They are polished through magnetic tumbler and burnished later on. But still the finish is not so good. Thank you.


#7

Lovely pieces. I have some questions…
What kinda me of media and chemicals are you using in your tumblers? How
finished are the pieces before you put them in? How long are you leaving
the pieces in the tumbler?
-Jo


#8

My pieces are put into a mini, magnetic tumbler I use about 7 items at a
time. This tumbler uses very, very fine steel shots for a period of only
15-20 minutes at a time…works wonderful!!!

Gerry Lewy

(1-905-886-5961)

(1-855-564-0003)


#9

Hello Gerry,

What’s the karat value of your pieces? Is it 24K or of lower Karat? Thank you.


#10

My pieces are .925 silver and all are original… and Canadian made!!!

Gerry! from my mobile-phone!


#11

Silver tumbles differently than 24 kt.


#12

What makes it so special that jewelry is Canadian made?


#13

I don’t think that we Americans have a monopoly on pride of place…


#14

What is so special is that I keep my tradespersons active and working! Many of the ‘shopping channels’ want to hear that it is ‘locally made’. If sent to other countries I won’t have any form of security if the silver is not actually .925 or the cz’s are not what I want. I am a great proponent of having everything made in this country… called Canada! Get my drift?

Gerry! from my mobile-phone!


#15

In May, 2013 I achieved a level of excellence in creating a “Guinness World Record”. Everything was made, CAD created, metal was cast, stones were set (by myself) in this country! If I had other jewellers do my assembly and they lived other countries… what would happen to my idea?
I spent 3 long years creating that design & pattern. All in all fairness to other jewellers everywhere, nothing is wrong by keeping your own local tradespersons busy, agree? I did explore other avenues to cut costs. But I found that there was a definite problem in language, time-zones not too mention levels of their skills. Keeping my jewellers busy in this country is paramount.
Pedro, I fully respect your thoughts, but I am the one who has to make the final decision…Keep your work close to your bench-pins…:wink:
Gerry! from my mobile-phone!


#16

If I talk to people in other countries about your work or made in Canada -without beeing respectless or humiliating with your work- people don’t care realy. If I talk about gemstones cut in Antwerp (or other well known place)s, people know around the world that this is the good.stuff.

I’m more humble in my work but people like it very much because I make jewerly with a story using my brains ,heart and hands. No special machinery, no CAD, just ordinary files, gravers, hamers and lots of elbow grease. Guess what, nobody knows my stuff nor name in America or Canada, not even here, not even in my own country. Some pieces of mine where exposed in the Antwerp diamond museum. I’ve been a laureate during a exposition called “Napoleon in Antwerp” and my work is still not known. You and I are another fine craftsmen in “a” specific country.

Trademarks like Vancleef & Arpels, Bvlgari, Chopard, Tiffany’s and Co, Graff or whatever, they made it and their names means something. However they aren’t interrested in what we make, that’s to small for them which is ok…

If I sell my work to a customer, he or she leaves with a part of me beeing more then a gemstone or precious metal. Sometimes it even hurts because I know the full story, know howmuch work I spend to create exactly what people can’t convert into words. That is -for me- the most awarding value bigger then the amount of money they leave behind. That is even closer then my workbench.

Still, my name doesn’t ring a bell, only for the very little amount of people who happend to cross my way