Burnishers are tools used in any stone setting. There are some common types of burnishing tools, and they come in different sizes, both big and small. They also take various forms, some with straight tips and others with bent endings. The YouTube video “Getting Acquainted With Your Burnishing Tool” explains what burnishers have historically been used for and how their uses have taken a different form in the present day.
In the past, jewelers might have applied a surface with a burnisher to an entire piece of gold jewelry, but because we have mechanized polishing tools, we hardly ever do that now. The purpose of jewelers’ burnishers today is simply to smooth out minor errors. For example, if a ring with a small nick causes the wearer unease, a burnisher can be used to smoothen it out without damage by sliding it over the edge with spit or dish detergent as a lubricant. It is recommended that the burnishers be tuned and polished correctly before use to avoid wear.