Hand polishing workshop
A gleaming surface of exceptional quality
This procedure consists of finishing pieces without compromising on product quality. This stage allows us to obtain a sparkling piece with a surface finish of exceptional quality.
The professions of polisher, burnisher or finisher require many qualities: a great sense of aesthetics, rigour and a touch of perfectionism.
This process is often long and requires numerous quality controls in order to achieve the final gloss and appearance of the piece.
Soften the piece
After machining or stamping, the piece has a matt appearance, meaning that it does not reflect the light, so it appears simple. If you want to add sparkle so that the light reflects on the whole piece of jewellery, you have to polish it. In terms of colorimetry, shiny and matte are complete opposites. Polishing is an extremely delicate step, as it is imperative not to modify the piece or the jewel. There are several steps in the polishing process itself: emery, polishing and polishing. Before polishing, the jeweller must first emerise the piece. As a reminder, this technique is also used during jewellery assembly. Emerising consists of gently sanding the piece to remove any fire stains or marks in order to obtain a smooth surface. It has been used for centuries to soften and prepare the material.
Revive the shine
Polishing can be manual or even mechanical Mechanical polishing consists of a cloth wheel. The jewel’s surface is gently polished by rubbing the object against the rotating wheel at high speed. It is also possible to use brushes, felt wheels or leather wheels. In addition, there are many discs, each with a specific purpose to meet the product and material requirements. It is important to emphasise that this stage requires a great deal of technical skill, as the piece or jewel must be placed correctly and precisely in front of the brush, otherwise it may be carried away and damaged. Sharpening also adds shine and revives the colours of the jewel. It is done with cotton cloth discs and burnishers.
To achieve the ultimate shine, the polisher uses polishing pastes in addition to the cloth disc. There are a multitude of pastes, some considered abrasive, as they are essential to remove the marks left by the emery cloth. Others are softer and are mainly used for polishing, they allow for a remarkable shine to be obtained.
This process calls for a great mastery of polishing techniques, so craftsmen can work on all types of products. At the end of the grinding process, it’s important to clean the parts to remove the polishing paste. At Pichard-Balme, this operation is automated to guarantee a high quality performance and also to facilitate the work of the polisher.
All the products are then carefully checked to ensure that they meet the client’s expectations. The control stage is carried out using magnifying glasses and white lights to check that the product is of excellent quality.
If this is not the case, the product must be reworked until validation from the quality operator is obtained. All these steps are adaptable to the needs of the product and the client’s request.