Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

[Question] Polishing fluorite

I have a large piece of green fluorite a customers wants polished. I
have it ground and sanded down to a 600 grit. This was all done wet.
I thought on my test end that it would polish about the same as agate
as this spot took a nice polish. But when I had the whole piece ready
for polish, it did not seem to be working. It would not take a
polish. What am I doing wrong. In the morning I am going to go back
and resand with the wet 600 grit diamond and see if it was a poor
sanding job.

Any other suggestion?

Larry
Where it is spring break here in Portland, OR and I have to get some rocks
polished before school starts again and takes a lot of my time.

Larry, Once I worked with a fluorite I had to make a pendant with. The
stone is so soft I made a few scratches while working. So I repolished
it the same way I polish gold: first tripoli with a low speed buff,
then rouge again with low speed buff. It was perfect.

Fady Sawaya
3D jewelry designer
fady@fadysawaya.com
http://www.fadysawaya.com

Larry - Fluorite does not respond to the same polishing treatment
that agate does for two reasons (at least): it is far softer, and it
has multi-directional perfect cleavages. Depending on how "gentle"
you are you can use chrome oxide on leather, tin oxide on leather, or
diamond paste on synthetic fabric to achieve a good polish. Remember
that the material has some heat sensitivity, so go slowly and keep
the stone cool.

Jim Small
Small Wonders

Larry, have you tried polishing the fluorite with cerium or alumina.
I have had good success with those. Also, are you sanding with a meta
600 lap or a resin bonded lap? If metal I would suggest going finer,
like 1200. Bill Navran