Polishing Lake Superor Agates?


Good Day everyone!

I would like to get some suggestions and ideas about polishing Lake Superior Agates, I am not tumbling them. I am using muslin buffs on a flexible shaft.

Thanks for your suggestions and ideas.


Since it is an agate, I suspect that it is pretty hard. I have only ever had any success polishing soft stones, like Turquoise, on a buff with ZAM. If it is a small amount of stone and you don’t have lapidary equipment, you can buy flexshaft mounted wheels and discs that, along with the right media, will polish stones. It is very tedious. You might look for a rock club in your area. Good luck…Rob

Polishing is usually the last step, after a long process of wet-sanding using progressively finer grits of abrasive. What are you trying to make out of this agate? The size and shape of the desired product will dictate the best choice of tools and techniques. If you really want to do this yourself more than once, it normally takes some simple but specialized lapidary equipment - trim saws, dop pots, arbors - to turn your material into cabochon stones suitable for setting in jewelry. But carvings in hard stones like agate can be done with a flexible shaft, if you work out the tooling required to bring all the surfaces to a polished state.

Take a look at the Kingsley North website

for an education on the what and how of cutting and polishing lapidary material…Rob

Thanks! I use Fabulustre, it is much less messy and leaves a glass like polish.


I do small freeform stones. I also have designed sanding tools and small belts that go from 80 grit to 1500 grit. Looking for a good polishing method and “COMPOUND” to use. After sanding my stones they have almost a polish because of the 80-1500 grit paper process that I use. Just thought someone might have a good polishing method to suggest.


Try 5000 diamond on spools.

Cerium oxide on felt, muslin or leather should work fine.

Thank everyone for their suggestions.
This has created an additional question, I see there are grades of Cerium Oxide. Is one grade different than another, I noticed $$ difference.



The more expensive cerium oxide polish has smaller and more graded size particles. You can also buy pads that already have polish in them. To me it boils down to what you can afford. Unless you do a lot of polishing, a little goes a long way. Look at Kingsley North, Covington and other websites that sell lapidary supplies and read the product descriptions to help you make a decision. Good luck…Rob

The “regular” grade of cerium should work fine for cabs. The expensive stuff is for faceting…it seems that sometimes the regular grade will scratch facets. In addition to felt muslin or leather, pellon will also work. The regular stuff is sometimes pink or buff colored, whereas the refined stuff (sometimes called French cerium) is white.