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
David L. Huffman