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When searching for an ideal piece of jewellery you will often come across a title description including words like ‘polished’, ‘matte’, ’brushed’, ‘foil’ or ‘hammered’. You may guess the general meanings of the terms and here I’m explaining them in detail with examples of related products.
These words all describe the processes that add the final touches to a piece of jewellery. In general ‘texture’ describes the tactile quality of the jewellery (how it feels when touched);
‘finish’ describes the visual quality of the jewellery (how it looks).
Hammered / Embossed
A dimpled look created by a hammer either by hand or machine. The finer the finish on the hammer head, the shinier and brighter the finished pattern will be. Finished patterns could be regular or irregular. Regular patterns are commonly discs or dots.
Foil / Stipple / Sand
An extension to a hammered finish which involves heavier hammering and tapping apart silver until there are obvious dents or trenches.
Polished Mirror finish
Shiny smooth surface and highly reflective look.
Brushed Matte finish
A matte surface with lines and grains in the finish. A more subtle brushed finish is also called satin or sandblast. Some matte surfaces with no plating still appear shiny but not as bright and reflective as the polished mirror finish. Finished patterns can be regular or irregular.
Oxidized / blacked silver
A chemical process to deliberately darken the surface of the silver. Sulphur is normally used to speed up silver tarnishing and to create the blackened silver look.
and many more