Three Things You Need to Begin Polishing Rocks

Finding and polishing your own rocks and minerals is a fun and creative way to make jewelry and gifts.

Many people, young and old alike, enjoy the hobby of rock polishing. Along with the satisfaction of seeing and holding a shiny, smooth final product you can use in a variety of crafts or displays, rock polishing kits are perfect gifts for the rock hound in your family who spends a lot of time digging for the perfect mineral chunk. The most important tool, the tumbler, should have a sturdy base, all-metal construction, and sized to your needs—the bigger the rocks, the larger barrel you’ll need. Eventually, you’ll also need more grit, which goes inside the tumbler, to polish more material, have a selection with different coarseness ratings nearby. After you have everything you need in front of you, the process is simple and fun.

Great for Beginners

This set includes everything needed to learn how to make stones sparkle. National Geographic

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A good rock-polishing starter kit should have everything someone needs to learns the ins and outs of rock polishing, out of the box. In addition to a rock tumbler, a kit should include several different textures of polishing grit, easy-to-follow instructions, and even a few sample stones and minerals to try before venturing outside to find more.

For Large Stones

The drum in this advanced set has a one-pound capacity. Dan&Darci

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Professional rock polishing kits should include everything in a starter kit, but with more advanced features. The tumbler, for example, should include a timer with an automatic shut-off trigger, variable speed settings so someone can tumble rocks based on its mineral makeup, or even a low-noise drum so the entire process isn’t so loud. Pro kits should also include a rounded selection of rocks and various jewelry fasteners to turn finished stones into rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.

High Quality

This product puts a sparkling finish on any mineral. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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If you polish enough rocks, you’ll soon need more polishing grit. Polishing grit comes in a variety of different coarseness grades, and each has a specific purpose. Coarse grits initially shape rocks, less-course grit smooths a rock’s surface, and fine grits give the rock its initial polish. Last, a fine grit gives the rock its final polish. The good news is there’s little to no difference between most tumbling grit brands so you can use it in any tumbler without concern.