Jewelry can be finished in a number of different ways, from polished & shiny to rough & scratchy. Hammered finish is also an option, and hammered jewelry additionally can have a polished or brushed effect.

Dan finishes most of our jewelry with either a polished or a satin finish. (We use the terms “satin,” “matte,” and “brushed” interchangeably.) Occasionally, Dan gives our pieces a sandblasted finish, a “raw” finish, or a “rough” finish.

Satin vs. Polished

The photo to the right shows two bands made of 14k rose gold and hammered with our “pebble” hammering style. The band on the left has a satin finish, while the band on the right is polished. The satin finish is more muted, while the polished finish has been buffed to a high shine with the aid of polishing compounds.

Scratches are only a matter of time with any finish, but they will show more quickly with a satin finish than with a polished one. (The scratches will be there regardless, but they will be less obvious with the polished finish.) The speed with which jewelry shows wear depends upon the lifestyle of the wearer — and with respect to rings, how much a person labors with his or her hands.

Sandblasted vs. Brushed

The next photo shows two bands made of 14k X1 white gold. The ring on the left has a sandblasted finish, while the ring on the right has a satin or brushed finish.

The process of sandblasting involves literally blasting jewelry with small beads of glass. Consequently, the resultant finish displays tiny pits in the metal.

Rough Finish

Dan also gives our jewelry a “rough” finish when requested. In this case, he takes a file to the piece with the intention of giving it a controlled scratch finish (shown to the right).

And sometimes, he simply leaves the metal untouched after he completes a piece. With this “raw” finish (or lack of finish), the organic nature of the metal is revealed.

Rough Finish
Raw Finish

The raw finish is especially nice on palladium and platinum, and is shown in the picture to the left on a faceted platinum band.

Regardless of which finish you choose, time and wear are bound to take their toll on your jewelry. Wedding bands, for example, will buff themselves into a dull shine within several months of wear – regardless of finish. The finish can be redone, but often at the expense of losing a bit of metal and/or detailing on the rings. With respect to wedding bands, the main consideration is how you would like your rings to appear on the big day.