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Polishing tips for platinum


#1

Hello, Orchidians! I’ll make this quick… :o) Does anyone know
of any quick tips for polishing platinum, that do not require
polishing wheels or other similar equipment? I was hoping to find
something Similar to the “polishing cloths” impregnated with gentle
cleaners or rouges, or even simichrome type products. Might there be
something of this nature, designed for Platinum, that might easily
improve the look of Platinum jewelry for those without access to
equipment?

Thanks very much, Mary Beth in NH
Where the snow is down to only 4 feet high!


#2

Hello Mary Beth, you’ll get lots of good advice from others, and I
hope the following will be helpful. I presume you’ve finished filing
and emerying and just want to polish. After finishing with 1200
"flour" emery paper, thin, smooth leather impregnated with a range of
polishing compounds will give you a satisfactory finish. I buy
aluminium strips of varying widths from the hardware store and glue
the leather directly to the aluminium. This gives me a firmly
resistant base which can be used like an emery buff. A range of
compounds from the coarser tripoli, through green rouge to red rouge
can be used with a little light oil to act as a binder on the
leather. Cirium oxide or tin oxide can be purchased from lapidary
suppliers and rubbed into the oiled leather for an excellent finish.
There is also a wonderful product, diamond lapping film, which comes
on a pale blue mylar base. It’s relatively recent in Australia, and I
have had excellent results with it, especially where I have needed a
clean, crisp edge on platinum. However the use of this material
presumes a flawlessly prepared surface. I finish with a circular
motion to avoid drag marks. Hope this helps. Kind regards, Rex Steele
Merten


#3
Does anyone know of any quick tips for polishing platinum, that do
not require polishing wheels or other similar equipment? 

Mary Beth, Having worked a lot of platinum, I must first say that
power equiptment makes the job much easier and the results much more
refined.That said, you can acheive an acceptable polish on the metal
without the equiptment you mentioned. I don’t know of a polishing
cloth or paste specifically made for platinum; however with standard
silicon carbide papers, crocus cloth, and burnishing you can get a
decent polish on plat. Depending on the condition of the piece you
have you should take different courses of action; and textured or
engraved surfaces need a different, more delicate approach. If there
are deep nicks and scratches start by burnishing them out with
(preferably a carbide burnisher, but steel will work if kept highly
polished and well lubricated…Gesswein sells carbide burnishers for
platinum use). Once burnishing is completed to a nearly smooth
surface sand lightly with 400 grit and then 600 grit silicon carbide
papers removing all the scratches from the previous grit (if a finer
grit paper is available to you, use that next…the finer the grit
you can sand with the easier the polishing steps will be. Next use
the crocus cloth (a fine grit polishing cloth found in hardware
centers or automoive shops); it, too, comes in various coarsnesses,
so get the finest one available (it will wear out quickly giving you
an even finer grit from the same piece of polishing cloth.) At this
stage the platinum will be polished to a level equivalent to the
polish you’d get from tripoli polishing compound. Use your burnisher
lightly around prong and/or bezel bases or any other tight hard to
reach areas to bring them to a high polish. You may be able to
further the polish on the rest of the piece with a rouge cloth (as
used on gold and silver jewelry) and alot of carefully used time;
though I personally haven’t tried it. Usually I use Zam next (on my
buffer or flex shaft) and then finish to its best polish with one of
the platinum “rouges”. These compounds will work on a cotton flannel
cloth, but much more slowly than on the power equiptment. Good luck
and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Paul D. Reilly in Spring-time-snowy/rainy Colorado Spring, CO