I have a gold setting I purchased from Rio Grande and want to mount
the opal in this setting. I am a lapidary, not a jeweler hence this
question that might seem pretty elementary. As received, the
setting is not finished or polished. What is the process/equipment
used to put a gleaming polish on the setting prior to setting the
stone in it
Actually, you've got it backwards. You have a gold mounting you
purchased, and want to set the opal in the mounting. But to get to
your question, there are many ways to polish the mounting, and most
involve equipment that most lapidaries don't have.
If you have a flex shaft, I suggest you buy a set of the 3M radial
bristle discs with the suitable mandrels to mount them (at least 3 -
5 discs at a time). Start with the heaviest grit and work down to the
finest. The reason I suggest the radial bristles is because they are
very good at preventing you from grinding flat spots into the metal.
Just let the bristles touch the metal lightly, and you'll be fine. If
the polish doesn't quite make it to "gleaming," use a small muslin
buff loaded with green rouge to put a mirror polish on it.
James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL