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Tin oxide for lapidary. 99.9% purity. Highly effective polishing material for calcite, fossils, limestones, marbles, granites and some other stones. Mix into a thick paste with a bit of water and then use a felt pad on a rotary tool or lap. Tin oxide acts to create a highly polished, glass-like surface which reflects the light beautifully. 

Ideally you want to be using tin oxide with motorised equipment like a flat lap, vibrating lap or a rotary tool fitted with felt wheels. Polishing by hand with tin oxide would take an enormous amount of elbow grease. Only to be applied once a very smooth and scratch free surface has been achieved with 1200 Grit wet-and-dry sanding paper. Tin oxide will not polish a rough and unprepared surface. 

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What is fossil polishing?

Polishing can be a the perfect way to enhance the beauty of a fossil. It is an aesthetic approach to fossil preparation, usually performed on fossils which either are found so abundantly that their scientific value is limited, or fossils that just 'look best' when they're polished. Sometimes they are used in arts, crafts and jewellery in their polished form. 

Some fossils are cut before being polished, and others are left whole. Fossil polishing is something you can do at home with some very basic supplies - some good quality wet-and-dry paper in various grits (different coarseness), tin oxide polishing powder, a rotary tool with a felt wheel and some water. And of course a fossil. The best fossils and rocks for polishing are crystalline ones (e.g. calcite). The rock must be hard and non-porous for it to take a polish. Click here to purchase cut fossils that you can polish at home. 

Learn more here and read our step-by-step tutorial on fossil polishing. 

Some examples of polished fossils