When creating new jewellery pieces for your collection, you may want to add a high shine mirror finish to your silver and gold. The best way to achieve this? By using jeweller’s rouge.
Watch our customer review video to discover more about how Dave Wilson (the artisan behind Celtic Dreams jewellery) uses jeweller’s rouge to add a finishing touch to his own creations, and then read on to learn even more about this polishing compound – from answering the question “what is jeweller’s rouge?” to different ways you can use it for achieving the finishing touch you desire.
Jeweller’s rouge polishing compound
Jeweller’s rouge is a jewellery polishing compound, used especially for achieving a high shine with precious metals such as silver and gold. Made from finely ground iron oxide, or more commonly known as “rust”, jeweller’s rouge comes in a dark red colour, following its namesake rouge.
The iron oxide (or ferric oxide) is commonly mixed with tallow, which acts as a greasy binding element for jeweller’s rouge to take the form of a block or jeweller’s rouge bar. Using jeweller’s rouge in bar form allows you to easily apply it to your metal polishing mops and jewellery polishing motor.
The ferric oxide is gently abrasive, allowing a fine powder to appear on the jewellery as you work.
Different consistencies of jeweller’s rouge
Although all forms of jeweller’s rouge are made from the same substances, there can be variations in consistency and texture depending on coarseness:
- Coarsely-ground oxide – results in larger jeweller’s rouge particles, with a rougher polish.
- Finely-ground oxide – results in smaller, finer particles, with less cutting action but a finer polish.
The greasy binding of jeweller’s rouge can also vary, depending on manufacturer preference. Some can make the jeweller’s rouge dry and crumbly, which does result in a quicker clean-up. However, your work environment will be dustier. A greasier jeweller’s rouge bar is better to work with in terms of less dust, but will take longer to clean up after as you remove greasy residue from your metal.
Applying to your metal polishing mops
If you’re using a jeweller’s rouge bar for your finishing touch, apply it to your choice of metal polishing mop or pendant wheel and attach this to your polishing motor or pendant drill. For this, you primarily want to avoid stiff mops, such as calico, and opt for softer, unstitched mops made from cotton, muslin or wool instead.
Once you’re polishing your metal with your mop and motor or pendant drill, take care because this process will generate heat. This is due to the abrasive properties of jeweller’s rouge, and the friction caused by the speed of the polishing motor. Also be wary of how your buffing wheel polishes metal with square edges, as this can result in a rounder result if you aren’t careful.
Removing jeweller’s rouge residue
When you’ve finished polishing your piece, don’t forget to remove any residue. The best solution for this is hot soapy water and a toothbrush. Make sure your water is hot, and not lukewarm – otherwise it won’t melt the grease and you’ll struggle to get rid of the residue.
So, will you invest in some jeweller’s rouge for your next project? If you’re wondering where to buy jeweller’s rouge, look no further than Cooksongold. We have both jeweller’s rouge bars and jeweller’s rouge powder available, ready to help you achieve a high shine, metal finish.