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List of stones that can be tumbled


#1

I’m wondering if anyone has made or come across a list of stones
that can be tumbled in finished pieces? I’ve done some searching, and
found a range of “answers”. Some people say no pearls, others say
pearls are ok for short times. Some say no turquoise, others say
polished turquoise is ok. A bit confusing, to say the least :wink:

I did not really find anything in the archives. Some sort of master
list with those that are definitely safe, those that are maybes,
those that you should not tumble would be really helpful!

Thanks!
Beth in SC


#2

Hi Beth;

I'm wondering if anyone has made or come across a list of stones
that can be tumbled in finished pieces? 

I wouldn’t recommend tumbling any pieces with set stones. Even if
the stones are of the same hardness, they can chip each other.
Although stone dealers often carry stones in parcels, they are
subject to what’s known as “parcel wear”; tiny chips on the facet
junctures from constant contact. Steel shot could damage them also.
Although the contact with the shot wouldn’t be very violent, it would
be continuous, and eventually, the shot would find edges and surfaces
it could damage from repeated impact. Even diamonds can be damaged by
steel tools if they are stuck just right. Rubies and saphires, with a
hardness of 8, can be damaged by much softer steel tools, as their
surfaces have microscopic fissures, and a steel tool can get a
purchase there and damage the stone. I’d suggest designs that allow
easy setting and finishing of the setting area after the they are
tumbled.

David L. Huffman


#3
I'm wondering if anyone has made or come across a list of stones
that can be tumbled in finished pieces? 

Well that depends on the type of tumbling. If you are tumbling with
steel shot or abrasive media then no stone is safe. If you are
polishing with red rouge and crushed walnut shells the avoid stones
that could be stained. Any of the jaspers and agates would be ok. In
general avoid tumbling jewelry with Opals, Onyx, and any stone with a
MOHS hardness of under 6 or mixed harnesses’ that could undercut. I
would also avoid faceted stones.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com