Tumbling fingerprint jewellery ?


Have you any tips for tumbling silver items that have been fingerprinted- is there a way of protecting the print from being worn down while the rest of the piece is polished?

Thanks for your item and any help -

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Dave!

In general, tumble-polishing does not damage surface textures, even very faint ones. But when in doubt it's better to err on the side of caution. So on to plan B!

To polish a piece like the one you've pictured, a small polishing/buffing wheel fitted to a flexshaft combined with a polishing rouge would work well. (for those without a flexshaft - they're well worth the investment! But a dremel will work also.) On the surface with the fingerprint, I would use a polishing cloth to gently polish the area under and around the print and not use the buffing wheel as that tool could remove some of the pattern.

Tumbling is great because it allows you to polish or clean multiple pieces without having to physically attend to the job yourself - leaving you free to spend the time doing other things. However, tumbling is not always best or even an option. Let the jewelry and its polishing requirements be your guide. (that and a lot of experimenting!) Sometimes you can tape-off an area so that it does not come in contact with the tumbling media. But you run the risk of the tape or protective coating coming off during the tumbling process. Plan B avoids that and gives you more control over what exactly is polished...the where and how much.

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