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Removing metal brush deposits from tourmaline.

Posted by Jenna Mast  
Jenna Mast February 11, 2012 01:44AM
As I did not have an air compressor, I decided to use a steel brush attachment that came with my dremel to remove lepidolite coatings from tourmaline that I couldn't removing any other way. This works, however it also leave a thin metal deposit on the crystals. I only did a test section. I don't want to continue until I know how to remove the deposit. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Joseph Polityka February 11, 2012 02:36AM

Try using a wet Brillo Pad. I have used them with harder gem minerals to remove thin coatings.


Luca Baralis February 11, 2012 10:54AM
I don't use steel brush on hard rocks for this reason.
Some ideas:
toothpaste and brush (and time...)
polish paste/pad for metals objects
an home made electrolytic device

However I've never tried any of that.

Luca Baralis

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2012 10:55AM by Luca Baralis.
William C. van Laer February 11, 2012 03:59PM

Complete removal is somewhat dependant on what type of metal brush you used: steel wire would require a soaking in warm/hot hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid), while a brass brush would require a soak in waek nitric acid. Both reactions would be facilitated by adding heat, but either will give off noxious fumes, so please use caution and do this under a fume hood.

William C. (CHRIS) van Laer: "I'm using the chicken to measure it..."
Jenna Mast February 12, 2012 06:42AM
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'll see if I can give some of them a try.

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