I have received a few questions regarding tumbling emeralds in the rock tumbler. Since I have an abundance of rough emeralds (most of which are not facet quality), I decided to do a few posts on the process of tumbling them. Let’s get started with our tumbled emeralds!
The first step in the process is to tumble the rough stones using a coarse grit compound. Luckily for me, I have a kit that includes 4 different grits of compound. For the emeralds, I use silicon carbide and water. The stones will tumble for about a week before I will take them out, rinse them, and change the polishing compound to a finer grit.
Below is the picture of the emerald rough before I started the first step. I found some of these in Hiddenite, NC and some in Cleveland, GA.
Once I have the rough selected, I load it into the tumbling drum and add the coarse grit silicon carbide.
I don’t measure the silicon carbide. I simply sprinkle some into the drum until I think I have enough. Yes, there are measurements for it in the instructions for the kit, but if you aren’t filling the drum completely with rock, the measurements vary, so I just eyeball it.
Put the top on the drum and it is ready to go!
I put the drum on the tumbler and will check back in about a week. I will post photos of the rough stones when they come out of the tumbler and before I add the next step of the polish.
While I wait for the tumbles emeralds, I will be working on The Gemstone Chronicles!