The final process is polishing. Most pieces are barrelled first for a few hours to get into the backs and parts that are hard to reach with polishing mops. Going into the polishing shed requires some covering up and wearing a face mask. It’s a filthy business! Not the least but romantic but it is lovely to see the real shine of the metal coming through as I attack each piece with 4 inch buffs travelling at 3000 rpm on my big polishing machines!
Great care is needed to avoid polishing away fine details or having the mop grab the piece and throw it across the workshop! Assuming the piece has survived the attack, the next stage is to clean off the residues of polishing compounds this is done in an ultrasonic tank. Some stones do not like being in the tank and these have to be set after the polishing is finished.
Lastly, the fittings are added to the earrings, chains to pendants, pins to brooches.
And this is the beautiful end result, set with an exquisite pink sapphire and diamonds…