Creating Your Own Finishes on Your Precious Metal

The Importance and Different Types of Polishes

By: Elizabeth Meister

 

There are a few basic finishes that you can create, and or mix together, for a truly one of a kind piece. Some sterling silver, rhodium plated silver, gold vermeille, and gold filled components come with a standard high polish finish. However, sometimes your design calls for a different look. If you’re searching for a different look in your sterling silver, gold filled or gold vermeille pieces, read on for some great ideas.

In this series of articles I will explain how to create your own finishes on sterling silver, gold filled or gold vermeille components. A common thought when buying components is that, the finish won’t go with the rest of my design, or line. There is never a need to resist purchasing that perfect unique shape if the only thing holding you back is the finish.

There are many to choose from, and you can create yourself such as: brushed, satin, hammered and even high polish. Having different tools at your disposal is important for making your own finishes on sterling silver, gold filled or gold vermeille components. Some tools you will require are a steel block, a ball peen hammer, a flat nose hammer, 3M pad, various grades of emery paper or sand paper ( from light to heavy ), a paint stick, and a very important tool to have with you at all times while making jewellery is your polishing cloth.  My favourite is the polish cloth on one side and the rouge cloth on the other.

As an example, if you have purchased a package of small high polish coins in sterling silver, you will be able to make a stunning series of sterling silver earrings in very little time. Take 5 pieces of your sterling silver coins and perform the hammering technique, take another 5 sterling silver coins and perform the brushed technique and so on, until you have multiple coins with all new looks. And then, you can take your sterling silver coins, mix them together in a drop earring or on a chain and you will create a beautiful design that is classic and unique, a one of a kind sterling silver design.

So the next time you find yourself with a surplus of components from last season, or a component that just needs a little tweaking to be exactly the piece that completes your design. Feel free to spice things up with a home made finish.