I have been asked to set a small opal (15mm by 8mm) into a sterling
silver bezel mount as a pendant. I know how to make the bezel setting
but I have never set an opal before and I have a few questions to
clarify before I set the opal:
Some of the discussion I have read recommend having a black
background inside the bezel to enhance the play of colours in the
stone. Apparently some people use black pigmented epoxy resin. I am
not particularly keen on using epoxy on a $150 stone and I wondered
if I could blacken the inside of the bezel cup with liver of sulphur
to serve the same purpose?
Given the notorious fragility of opal, when I make the bezel is
it better to make it a snug or slightly loose fit?
I presume I should complete the polishing of the mount (except
for a final hand polish) before I mount the stone. Is this consistent
with other people’s experience?
Do I need to take any particular precautions beyond the usual
when rolling over and burnishing the bezel strip particularly given
the rather tight curves?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
All the best