Epoxy Disclosure

   Hmmmm??  Adding epoxy to back of opal to increase strength?
Might not this now be considered a composite that would need to be
disclosed to the customer??  <grin> Just a thought. 

Quite possibly so, however I will leave this answer to someone more
qualified than myself. Perhaps a lapidary artist would be willing to
tackle this one? ;o)

With an epoxy bottom, you have created a doublet. The reason is
different than for most doublets, but the action is the same. No
problem with appropriate disclosure.

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arizona

Hello all. Not sure if I qualify as a “lapidary artist” or not.
Does cutting hundreds and hundreds of stones qualify me?

Point is, using epoxy on the behind of an opal is no better or worse
than using Opticon on Chrysocolla. If the stone has natural beauty
but otherwise has some strength problems one has to make a decision.
Do I cut a purest stone that will probably disintegrate shortly after
it is set or do I help nature a bit and create a thing of beauty that
will last many years. I vie for the latter. Simply tell the next
person up the line, be it a stone buyer or if you put it in a setting
yourself and sell it finished. Let the client decide if it is worth
it to them to possess the item.

I have repaired many many opals that were poorly set to begin with;
mostly the TV purchased variety. For some reason the bearings and
stones never seem to match. Epoxy permits a relatively easy and
cheaper way to match the two before the stone is lost forever.

I think another important question is…should a stone be
strengthened by use of epoxy or should one simply create a doublet to
accomplish the same thing? For some reason, people tend to look
ascance at the latter but have no problem accepting the former!!

What say you? Don at The Charles Belle Studio where simple elegance
IS fine jewelry!

Hi Michael,

I’ll weigh in on this one: anytime you (or I) attempt to alter or
enhance the physical characteristics of any item – whether by
irradiation, dyeing, doubleting or in any other way – we must
disclose said treat to our clients. It really is that
cut-and-dried. Whether we attach an epoxy backing to an item to
protect the stone above it, or to the stone, itself, we’re providing
our prospective clientele with the implication that said stone is
more than it is: deeper, as well as more durable. If you have any
doubts whatsoever about this, consider the following scenario: five
years after your epoxy-backed piece sells, its owner brings her
wear-abraded ring into a local jeweler, to see if there’s any way it
can be made “like new” again. A fellow jewelry repairman or retailer
is called upon to repolish or replace the stone, and unearths your
previously undisclosed “improvement”. Assuming that the same rules of
word-of-mouth advertising that’ve worked for the last several
thousand years are still functioning as well, then, what’s the most
likely repercussion of your non-disclosure, in the eyes and ears of
the buying public (whether or not they know all of the details of the
case)? And what of the reputations of those others involved… what
becomes of them? Pure and simple, it’s a no-brainer: if you add to
Mother Nature, your customers need to know about it. Then again, such
a “padding job” could well be used to the original jeweler’s benefit,
if marketed effectively… {:o).

All The Best,

It depends. The reason (I think) epoxy was developed was to provide
a “means of attachment” of one thing to another. So, if epoxy is
used as a means to attach an opal to a mounting, disclosure should be
handled the same as other means of attachment such as solder. Many
new uses for expoxy have developed since its invention. If it is
used to “make an opal stronger,” I would say that it must be
disclosed as such since it isn’t merely a means of attachment.


One final thought: I was answering a proposed question addressed
specifically to setting an inherently weak or thin (unspecified
species) stone, presumed to be a cabochon. This has however, brought
up a very viable question for many of the other artists out there,
which you have answered thoughtfully and directly.

Taken one tiny step further; there is a proliferation of inlaid
jewelry featuring opal being produced today, I would imagine that
very nearly all of which is ‘set’ by gluing the opal sections into a
channel with epoxy. What would the issue of complete and proper
disclosure dictate in this instance? If, as in many of the examples I
have observed, the stone is embedded or suspended in a layer of epoxy
and does not actually make any direct contact with the base of the
channel itself, would this technically be considered to be a doublet
as well?

I am not attempting to be tedious, I merely want to know where the
fine line of disclosure has its boundaries, since this is not my
genre of work.

Thanks for your input, Respectfully, Michael

I think its more like is it enhanced or not. If the opal looks the
same loose as it does in the mounting then there is no enhancement,
but if like in most cases the opal looks better because of say the
color of the epoxy then it is enhanced and should be disclosed.


the stone is embedded or suspended in a layer of epoxy and does not
actually make any direct contact with the base of the channel
itself, would this technically be considered to be a doublet as

Michael, You have hit one of the "hot button " issues in the opal
world today. Some very big “Designers” today are doing opal inlay
using black dyed epoxy, and then marketing this work as “black opal”
inlay. IMHO this is fraud. I also consider this to be a doublet .
Some people think that all opal that comes from Lightning Ridge is
black. Nothing is farther from the truth. Only about 10 to 30 % is
truly “black” as defined by The Lightning Ridge Miners Assn. later,
Mark Thomas Ruby SunSpirit Designs

Quite true, Mark! I should also mention that wnen I was in Lightning
Ridge, one dealer/lapidarist showed us how to use a black magic marker
on the back to make it look like black opal!