How To Polish A Pearl
“I would like to ask you: How can I polish a
Coin Pearl to a high luster? I just bought a
Foredom Flex shaft from Rio Grande!
Would I be able to polish a Coin Pearl with the Flexshaft? If so what type of wheel would I need to use? I have brand new silicon wheels, new radial wheels, and some new 4″ muslin wheels and also red, green, and white rouge/ polish.”
The abrasives used with polishing can remove the thin layer of nacre on a cultured pearl. If the pearl is a natural pearl, it will have many layers of nacre. Nacre is a response to an irritant in the oyster or other mollusk. It builds up a layer of a calcium carbonate based substance called Nacre (pronounced: nay-ker). In many types of cultured pearls, a nucleus is inserted and the nacre grows over that. In the illustration above, the pearl on the left shows the thin layers of nacre and the large nucleus. If your pearl was inexpensive, chances are it has a large inner nucleus and a thin, outer nacre.
I don’t recommend polishing pearls.
- When using the rouge on the wheel, run the wheel and place the rouge against the moving wheel. You want a coating all over the wheel with out it being goopy and over-applied.
- With the diamond paste: apply a little paste on the working edge, put a bit of water on your finger and spread the paste around. The entire wheel doesn’t have to be coated.
- I don’t recommend using sandpaper on the pearl.
- Don’t overheat the pearl during the polishing phases. If you must polish it, dip the pearl in water to cool – often.