I've also read those words in Iwata CM brochure about polished needles and was wondering what they polished while stating those words. The keyboard? Their needles do not look like being polished, at least none of them I had (maybe my luck?). Well sanded - yes, but not polished. Well sanded and polished needles look totally different, we can see that from your photos. If I'd posted mine, we'd have similar pictures. I did the same procedures to the needles and they look just as shiny as yours. For Olympos ABs I buy chinese needles, sand them and polish. In the end I have good needles, can't say that they smth not worth. They keep straight tip as good as original Iwata, for the steel they're made of is good quality, good quality for the needles. I buy those from Fengda for 0.2mm setup.