Pickling is an essential part to the jewelry finishing process, as it’s ultimately what gives jewelry that attractive and lustrous shine. Pickling is a process by which certain chemicals are used to remove deposits from the surface of the metal, such as oxide, carbon and other unsightly blemishes. The chemicals used in pickling are often composed of nitric or citric acids, which quickly remove the deposits to present a clean, sparkling metal surface. The metal is then rinsed in cold water to remove all traces of the acid.
Steam cleaning is a simple finishing process where steam is used to remove lighter residue from the surface of the metals, like oils and grease.
A polisher will rub the metal jewelry with a soft cloth to make it shiny and eliminate any surface flaws or blemishes.
In the tumbling process, steel shots are used to bring the metal’s natural shine and brightness to the surface.
Plating (which is more popular with gold jewelry) involves covering one metal with a thin coating of another in order to give it more shine and strength. For example, gold jewelry is often plated with rhodium to give it extra durability and polish.
A hammered finish is a process that’s used to give the surface of the jewelry a more “dimpled” look. A special hammer is used to make small dents on the surface of the jewelry, which can vary depending on the strength used to apply the indent.
A metal finish is a term that’s used to describe any process or procedure that alters the original appearance of the metal jewelry. For example, plating and hammered finishing are two types of metal finishing, as both procedures effectively change or morph the metal’s original appearance.
High Polish Finish:
In this finishing process, a special polish is applied to the surface of the metal jewelry to give it a greater shine than ordinary polishes.
A satin finish is a special type of polish that makes the surface of the jewelry appear matte and shiny at the same time. Tiny lines are etched onto the surface of the jewelry to give it texture, while sandblasting is used to give it a pearl-like satin finish.
Matte or Brushed Finish:
A matte finish – also known as a brushed finish – gives the surface of the jewelry a dull finish that doesn’t reflect light very well. To achieve this effect, rough materials are used to make tiny scratches in the surface of the jewelry.
Like metal finishing – but this time with gemstones – the term “stone finish” is applied to any process or procedure that ultimately changes the original look of a gemstone.
Enamel finishing is a special process that uses thinly crushed and heated glass powder to create unique and intricate designs on the surface of the jewelry.