View Full Version : Gems in barrel polishers?

07-09-2015, 09:51 PM
Hi! I'm working on a set of earrings and necklace with silver and sapphires and would normally roll the silver pieces in a barrel polishers (with steel jewelry shot) to give it the penultimate polish. I'm concerned about the sapphires, though, having never used them before - will they be affected at all? Any advice would be appreciated!

07-09-2015, 10:42 PM
Sapphires are fine in a tumbler - coming in at around 9 on the mohs scale.

As a general rule, any stone with a mohs hardness of more than 6.5 is fine to tumble, with the exception of friable, porous or treated stones, or those of organic origin. Most glass beads etc are also fine unless they have a coating.

Steel comes in at anywhere from 4 to 6.5 depending on its composition.