Tumbling a ring with a stone?

Hi all. I was wondering if it’s possible to place a finished
gold pendant with a bezel set rhodolite garnet cabachon in a
tumbler. The tumbler is loaded with steel shot and soapy water.
Will this harm the stone? Is there any way to protect the stone,
if necessary during tumbling? Or is tumbling out of the

Thanks in advance, Rita


Please don’t even think of tumbling a piece of jewelry with the
stone in place. Unless you enjoy replacing stones. The garnet
is not “TOUGH” enough to take the shock of repeated collisions
from the tumbling material. Notice I comment that it is not
tough enough. it is definitely hard enough to keep from
scratching but it will still shatter will the right amount of
force against it.

Joe B.


No experience with tumbling stone-in jewelry, but I can tell you
that I tried to cut a garnet on a bumpy scored metal lap and
ended up with all kinds of small cleavages under the surface of
the stone. Little “feathers” just under the polished surface,
even priduced a schiller in the right light, but really bunged up
the nice finished faceted gem. I would be afraid that the shot
would do the same or at least chip facet edges. Wouldn’t try it
unless the stone were completely expendable. Put a piece of
rough garnet in first to try it. There’s lots of too dark,
included garnet around cheap.

Hi Rita,

I do it all the time - but I’m using 50/50 ammonia/water with a
hefty dollop of liquid soap (Dawn). The only stones I don’t
tumble in jewelry (silver) are the soft copper minerals and the

Luck, Nina

Nina - Silver Design, 9122 S. Federal Hwy, Suite 249,
Pt. St. Lucie, FL. 34952 : Toll Free:1-888-460-1800
URL: http://www.nina-sd.com : Email: @Nina

dont do it. If you HAVE to tumble the thing, use lots of crushed
walnut shells or plastic polishing media available at a rock &
mineral shop or through Lapidary Journal!!..Brad