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Polishing Rouge

Greetings Orchid Readers,

Several times through the years I have come across posts from people
who - to me - seemed fairly OCD in their concern about the ultrafine
buff marks left on their work after a final rouge. My thoughts on
that - and what I tell my students - is that the “absolute” mirror
finish on any jewelry metal is a transitory state with the half life
of a soap bubble, so the very “swoosh” marks should be looked at as a
reasonable artifact of the process.

Only on pieces destined for exhibition do I lavish every trick and
effort to achieve the "perfect’ polish - and this even knowing that
before the piece hits the exhition case someone is going to take an
old towel, wipe it down, and erase in seconds what took me much
effort and time to do.

But, in my assumption that all those previously alluded to posts
were from the obsessive-compulsive among us, I may have maligned
innocent people. Here’s what awakened me: for years - decades - I
have been using red rouge purchased form the now defunct Swest
Company. This product produced wonderful finishes - even the
"absolute mirror" when necessary.

Last month, however, my intended lifetime supply ran out. I called
Swest, only to be switched to Stuller, but was able to order and
receive red rouge in a Swest label. When I used it, however, my
final polishes had a hazy or foggy look to them, which, on louping
the surface, turned out to be very dense micro buff marks

My first inclination was that the final buff had been contaminated
with another compound. But a new one produced the same result. Then
I took a piece of the years old rouge that I still had and, whalla!,
the micro marks were gone. The rouge was the culprit.

I then ordered a couple of pounds from Rio of their red rouge. Even
worse results. Back to Stuller, and after talking to their tech
dept., agreed to try their label. This produced much better results,
but still not as good as the old Swest formulation. And that’s where
the situation in my studio now stands.

So. Can anyone recommend a source for red polishing rouge that is
of a quality comprable to days of old.

And to those who have been fighting this problem long before I ran
into it: it’s the rouge.


Les Brown
Les Brown
L.F.Brown Goldwork, Inc.
17 Second St. East, Ste. 101
Kalispell, MT 59901

Have you considered using Zam instead of rouge? It’s cleaner to work
with and gets good results.

Marilyn Smith

Les, There is a blue rouge from Germany that is supposed to be the
best. Allcraft sells it. I do not need the polish you are after, I
have the blue rouge, but not the desire for the transitory glory.
Quartz dust is everywhere, everywhere, and when silver comes into
contact with anything, rags or fingers, the surface will be tainted
by the vibrational frequency of the quartz. Or abraided.

Richard Hart

Have you considered using Zam instead of rouge? It's cleaner to
work with and gets good results. 

Marilyn Zam is still way to aggressive and coarse cut to get a true
Mirror finish, It’s great for making something shiny and in truth is
great for silver and soft stone, we use it to polish Turquoise,
shell and most any other stone under 5 MOH, Zam and Fabuluster both
are great for a fast polish but neither is fine enough to bring up a
killer mirror finish, even with a fresh cotton or muslin buff, but
for general use they are hard to beat

Kenneth Ferrell

Les, I worked for swest for 13 years and do recall the polish you
speak. We carry 3 different types of red at Stuller … I do wish you
would try the peach. It has replaced the red in a lot of shops.


Some excellent polish we use and have tested here is peach rouge.
The Stuller number is 47-3385. used on a hard yellow buff can remove
scratches and used on a muslin buff with a light touch a shiny mirror
finish, as well no build up on the ring


Have you considered using Zam instead of rouge? It’s cleaner to work
with and gets good results.

One bench trick that I have found with the use of fabuluster, on
gold, and your flex shaft is to use it with the stiff bristle brushes
and a little Wintergreen oil or liquid bur life. This makes a kind
of gray mess, at first but once you get through the sludge it creates
all of the sudden you have a really great shine pop through. I
learned this from a really great stone setter from South America some
30+ years ago. He did all his bright cutting or pave and when he was
done he hit it with fabuluster and Wintergreen. It was a beautiful
thing to watch.

I agree that for general use as a polish it is ok but does not give
the best polish. There are many other products which will do better.
With the stiff brushes and for certain applications, it is hard to

Have a great day,
Phillip Scott G.G.
Technical Support & Sales