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By  , Wednesday, August 02, 2006

If you shop for jewelry in a typical jewelry store, you'd think there are only two standard finishes for gold: shiny or dull. In actuality, there are nearly a dozen that manufacturers regularly use.

You owe it to yourself to investigate them all. Here's a list of popular gold finishes:

  • Bark. Using an etching tool called a burr, the goldsmith makes wavy lines in the surface of the gold that resemble tree bark.
  • Facet. Using a lathe, a goldsmith dots the surface with a honeycomb of dents that resemble tiny gem facets.
  • Florentine. This is an ancient textured finished that involves etching gold etched with parallel diagonal lines, then crosshatching each at 90º.>
  • Granulation. One of the oldest known gold finishes, granulation involves affixing minute grains of gold to a base of gold or another metal without solder.
  • High Polish. This is the most popular gold finish, usually achieved through buffing that imparts a bright, shiny, mirror-like surface.
  • Matte. Those who like gold with a more frosted, grainy appearance might look into this finish created by sandblasting.
  • Satin. By using sandpaper, a goldsmith can give gold a soft, lustrous pearly look.
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