... a "lemon opal"... Of course when I was trying to push the
bezel around it I chipped a good part of the ridge out of it.
ARGH! Mollie, in beautiful western North Carolina,USA
Opals can be very anxiety-producing to set – I’ve cut and set a
lot of them. Prongs are difficult enough and bezels are especially
tricky. You know that now, unfortunately, so what do you do? If
you’re happy with the re-shaping you’ve done then it’s just a
matter of repolishing. My advice, unless you have lapidary
experience and equipment, is to take it to a local gem cutter
(there should be plenty in your area; look up members of your local
rock club. If you email me the name of your town or the nearest
large town I can probably find a contact for you). The process of
polishing stone is generally similar to polishing metal but
requires entirely different machinery, techniques, abrasives and
polishing agents. Zam just won’t polish opal, even if the stone’s
surface is sufficiently prepolished, and I suspect it isn’t. Most
cutting/polishing operations must be done wet to prevent heat
build-up, especially with opal.
The opal could be from Mexico, although there is a beautiful
yellow opal from central Idaho that is sold under the tradename
"Lemon opal." Similar opals occur elsewhere around the world.
Rick Martin in wet, dry, windy, calm, cloudy, sunny, warm, chilly
Ventura County, CA