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Opal in bezel of K14


Hello All, I have another little question … I want to set an an
opal of 5 x 7 mm (actually, 5.1 x 7.4) in a bezel for a ring in K14
gold. Is this a good idea? Is the opal not too soft to use for a
ring? Also, given the messages here on the springy characteristics
of K14, is using a bezel (a rather heavy one which I made myself)
asking for trouble or not? Could anyone share her/his thoughts me on
this. I would appreciate it greatly. Thank you and with best regards,


Will, there is nothing wrong with setting an opal in a gold bezel
ring. I would suggest 18 or possibly even 22 kt rather than 14,
especially if you are not proficient with 14 K. It will also allow
you to thicken the bezel a bit and thus protect the stone more. Oh,
and use a light touch with the bezel roller!

Is opal too soft for a ring? Welll…thats a personal question.
Many people say it is but it is done all the time. One thing to
remember, the stone should be fairly thick…if not - double
it…and whatever else you do, make sure the bearing is perfect.
Otherwise, the opal may shift or when bumped (and that will happen
some time or another) it could crack. Some setters run a bead of
epoxy along the bearing before setting the opal so the glue will fill
any inperfections and support the base of the stone. Over time, the
stone will scratch in a ring and loose its polish. The wearer should
be aware opal rings are not to be worn whilst laying brick…or
even washing dishes, putting on hand cream or all those other daily
necessities. Treat it with care and it will last many many years.
Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1


Hello William To set an opal in a thick bezel, use 22k gold [I sometimes make the bezels as thick as 1.2mm.] make the bezel a wee
bit larger then the stone! so you can without any stress insert and
remove it while doing the fitting. make a thin strip of 0.1mm out of
fine gold. after inserting the opal, carefully fit the [fully
annealed!] fine gold around the stone. now you can hammer the 22k
bezel all the way until the fine gold start to “flow” you actually
gets an 'air tight ‘seal’ around the stone. 3 difficulties with this
method. it takes a long time to set the stone . one must be confident
with the hammer [automatic hammer is also used]. and you need good
magnification! [I usually start the setting on 10x, and the last rounds at 30-40x…] You can get a very beautiful setting this way.
-one more thing… at the end use a thin edge Brass! burnisher to
remove the excess gold. it won’t scratch the opal if used with care.
This is not the ‘right way’ to do an opal setting. it just the way
I do, and it works very very well.

Love & Light


Seems to be a 2 part question, so I’ll give a 2 part answer. I have
set many opals in 14K yellow bezels. For that matter I’ve used 14K
white, too. About the only thing I wouldn’t try is 18K white which I
can never seem to anneal adequately. Whatever I use, I make sure it
is thoroughly annealed, and that the inside is completely cleaned of
anything that could chip the stone from underneath. Be very cautious
about closing down the bezel. Go slow and easy and avoid excessive
pressure from any one direction. As far as ring settings, yes, it is
very soft for a ring setting. I see many opals come in to my repair
business that are abraded, cracked, chipped or completely broken.
Part of the problem is the fragile nature of the stone. A bigger part
is design that does nothing to protect the stone. I try to use (or
design) settings that offer some protection to the stone, such as
metal parts that are going to take the whack before the stone does. I
also make sure the customer knows that it is a fragile stone and how
to properly care for it. Shouldn’t be worn all the time, especially
by those who tend to be abusive to jewelry in general. Avoid thermal
shock, too much sun (like laying out at the beach), digging around in
the garden, etc. While these things might seem so obvious as to
insult the intelligence, it amazes me how many people never think of
taking care of their stuff properly, yet expect it to always look
brand new and never need maintenance and repair. Jim