Back to IGS | FAQ | Contact

Synthetic Ruby

I have a odd question. What is the best way to polish? I keep getting an orange peel effect. I am some what new and venturing into harder stones. I have lightning laps mainly with polishing laps that are hi-tech 600/1200. Also 2 crystalline 600/1200.

I have a brand new zinc, but I have no clue how to prep it.

Thanks in advance!

Phil, not an odd question at all, most new Facetors experience polishing problems, they try many different solutions and end up in Googled confusion. Pick one system which makes sense and learn how to use it, it’ll take time and a few stones but you’ll end up with a system which you can rely on.

You’ll probably get as many different replies as there are Facetors. Here’s my polishing technique for any hard stone; I finish cut on either 800 or 1200 sintered (because I have them) then go to either 3k or 8k on copper depending on the size and hardness of the stone, sometimes I pre-polish with both which speeds up the final polish, then I finish with 50k on a Tin lap, I even use this on Honey and Fire Opal Potch which is only around 5 - 6 Moh, real soft!

One thing I ensure is that my laps are flat and I regularly maintain this by re-facing them on Glass using wet & dry paper, then polishing becomes easy as there is no cheating between laps. My Tin lap is lightly indented with an engineers knurling roller, single direction not cross hatched, I then give it a final dress on the glass to get rid of any high spots. It polishes fast provided there is minimal diamond powder, when I load the lap I apply a thin smear of baby oil then a few specks or the 50k, rub into the lap then wipe any excess off. What is left on the tissue after wiping can be used to wipe off debris plus add a bit more diamond.

I do have some of the new composite synthetic laps but have never had any success with them, all my work is done with metal/alloy laps. I know how they perform and if something goes wrong I know how to fix it, it all comes from sticking to and learning a system.

If a stone is troublesome, orange peel of face fracturing, I will try with the lap counter rotating or on the far side of the lap, but pressure has to be minimal. This is a known technique and often works well to solve a problem.

Just remember stone debris and excessive diamond are the biggest cause of scratching.

Good luck with your journey.


Thanks for the info. Time to play around some more…