Well, I’m kicking myself today. Hubby bought me a large boulder opal
cab and two smaller ones (all solid) at a trade show last year for
my Valentine’s day present. Last week I decided it was time to make
them into something and so I made a sterling silver and gold pendant
and set the blue boulder opal with lab tanzanite. I made earrings to
go with it too and was setting the earrings today, when I broke one
of the opals! I’m gutted.
Let’s hope I’ve learned my lesson this time. You see, I’m too heavy-
handed sometimes. You know how you can make the settings to fit the
stones beautifully, but by the time you’ve soldered the settings
onto other bits of metal, they can sometimes be a bit tight - perhaps
a bit of solder has flowed inside the bezel somewhere? This was the
case today. As soon as I discovered that the opal no longer fitted
nicely into its setting, I should have taken some action to ease the
setting - but no, I did something that works with harder stones on
most occasions. I placed a folded paper towel over the stone and
gently persuaded it with my setting tool and chasing hammer and of
course it broke. It broke right across the middle and most of the
layer of colour parted company with the ironstone underneath. I’m SO
cross with myself and it was just my impatience. I should have known
not to temp fate with opals as they are so delicate.
We’re going to the same trade show tomorrow, so I’ll be on the
lookout for another pair for my earrings.
Helen - who needs to learn some patience and not just hope for the