That’s a tough call. Any chance you know anyone that has a laser
that would be willing to do the soldering portion of the job for you?
That should be way less risky than removing and resetting the opals.
If not and if you can get to it with a saw frame, it might be best
to cut the bezel sides into quarters, perpendicular to the stone and
bezel (try not to touch the stone when the sawblade cuts through).
Then you can pull each quarter bezel out with relatively little risk.
Don’t touch the stone with any tools when pulling the bezel back, and
don’t try to pry it loose if it is stuck in the bezel, even if it
looks like it should just drop out. Cut it some more if you have to,
then cut it even more if you still have to, until it does just drop
out. Make sure that when it does fall out, it doesn’t fall onto
something hard. You will have to make a new bezel, but you probably
will have to anyway, no matter how you remove the stone. I consider
the bezel to be expendable, the stone is not.
You might be able to lift the edges of the bezels without cutting
it, but you have to be extremely careful that you don’t touch the
stones with any tools whatsoever and especially avoid prying up on
the bezel using the stone as a fulcrum It will surely break. I would
use a flat bottom graver, and push into the edge of the bezel from
the stone side, away from and above the stone, in several places,
working my way around. I can’t stress it too much, you must not touch
the stone with a tool! If the bezel is tight, even when you get it
pulled up, it may still not come out without pushing it from the
backside, and that can be very risky as well. If someone cheated,
and stabilized it with a little glue, it will be even harder to get
loose, you may have to use heat to soften the glue, putting the opals
at further risk.
Sure would be easier to find a friend with a laser to do the