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Opal and Emerald


Ron at Mills Gem, I have been a jeweler for 31 years and I learned
over the years to always warranty my mountings and labor but never an
opal or an emeraldthey are far too fragile . Once had a male
customer that purchased an emerald pinkie ring–I explained how
fragile the stone was----two weeks later he wore it out playing golf.
Even though I had recessed the stone into the mounting he managed to
break it .I was glad I had written on invoice no warranty on the
stone. I always explain to customers that most jewelers will only set
emeralds and opals at the customer’s risk— that way the decision is theirs.
What is your opinion?


Dear Phyllis,

What a coincidence…we"ve both been in the business exactly the
same amount of time ! Furthermore, we have both learned not to
warrant Opals or Emeralds. One little trick that I have learned in
checking out Opals is helpful, however. Hold the opal up to the edge
of an incandescent light and view the stone through indirect light (
the light bulb must be shaded by a hood ) This will enable you to see
the fractures, if there are any. The same technique is used to
evaluate facet rough.

Also, when it comes to caution about stone setting and warranties, I
will never warrant the setting of a diamond except in a six or more
pronged head. I am also very cautious about star Sapphires…they are
much more prone to fracturing than other Sapphires. Peridots are a
pain in the rear from the standpoint of wear. Knife edge girdles on
all stones are trouble. I could go on , but the work ethic calls…

Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.