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Assist sizing bezel set black opal ring


Hi. I haven’t made too much work in opals and I have a ring in 18KY
with an extremely well bezel set rare solid black opal that needs to
go down about 1/4-1/2 a size. I really, really do not want to try to
dig the stone out as I think it may cause more trouble in the end. In
the past on other rings with smaller commercial opals I would use
Kool Jool, but it always seemed like the opals lost their lustre
somewhat after soldering the band back together. Is there a better way
of doing this? Thanks as always for your valuable help, Victoria


Victoria, My name is Phillip Scott. I have worked as a bench
jeweler for 30 years. My personal advice is to cut the shank as you
would any sizing. Bend the shank so the two pieces fit together
tightly. If there is a gap run a saw blade through the seam and this
will tighten the fit. Now put a small snipet of solder in the joint.
Fire coat with boric acid and alcohol or your favorite fire coat.

To solder the ring you need to have a small container (metal) filled
with water. Something like a deviled ham container works well. Put
your ring in the tweezers of a third hand and position the ring with
the stone submerged under water. As long as the stone is under water
it should be safe. Now flux and solder the ring. Instead of lifting
the ring out of the water totally dunk the rest of the ring in the
water to cool it. Now you can finish the ring. You may have to have
the ring a little out of round so you do not put any additional
pressure on the stone but other than that you should be able to
finish the ring with out any adverse effects to the stone. I know
there are many other ways to do this also but this has always worked
for me.

I hope this helps,
Phillip Scott GG



cut out the appropriate amount, file a v notch into the seam for
metal to fuse into and send it to someone who can laser weld the
seam/notch for you. Finish as normal.



Victoria, You are right it will be a bunch of trouble to take the
stone out.You basically have to cut the stone out in your
scenario.Then solder the bezel back together and reset the stone.I
would strongly suggest NOT attempting to size this ring if you have
as you say little experience sizing such things.The way I do it is to
crank the oxy up on my torch and heat sink the stone by putting
tweezers on each side of the stone.I aim the flame up towards the
inside of the joint to be soldered.Pick up a ball of solder and lay
the solder into the seem as the solder melts.I quickly put the ring
on my ring mandrel to suck the heat away from the piece.It is very
tricky to solder this way but it is the way I have soldered thousands
of rings and it works for me.I wold not recommend it to someone with
little experience and I would not practice on a very expensive
stone.Another option is to have some one with a laser welder do it
and charge the customer accordingly.regards J Morley Coyote Ridge