Burnishing refers to a metal finishing process that leaves the surface of a metal smoother and shinier. Burnished silver has this type of finish, making the appearance smooth and matte-like.
Burnishing processes are used on silver and other metals to improve the texture, appearance and durability of the metal. Other benefits of burnishing silver include preventing corrosion and wear and eliminating surface defects.
Burnishing happens when the surface of the metal makes sliding contact with another surface. It can be intentional, with the friction process being created in a factory, or unintentional, with metal surfaces that produce unintentional friction over time when put together.