This morning all I needed to do was set was set an opal into a ring
to finish a custom job. The opal has a red/brown body with
red/orange flashes of color.
I set it in an 18K bezel which I’d soldered into the ring. I did the
final polishing and used a soft tooth brush to clean off the final
layer of polishing rouge. I thought I was ready to celebrate the end
of this job. But after drying the ring I see that the opal now looks
like a cab garnet!!! The only time the flashes of color show are
when the ring is tilted sideways. In all the years I have made
jewelry, I have never had one “lose” it’s fire like this. I’ve also
never set such a dark opal.
The surface of the opal is not dull but I did BRIEFLY AND LIGHTLY
polish the ring with rouge on the buffing wheel. I always do this
without affecting the opal. I know not to bear down and to keep the
contact minimal. The surface does not look dull. But I need to
know…did I cause the problem??? If so, what do I use to
lightly re- polish it?
I made the bezel so the seat is open to the finger. In other
words it is not in a solid base. I did test the stone on and off a
solid base before I made the bezel. The color flashes were not
affected by either style.
Is it simply the nature of this opal that it must be set in a 4
prong oval head if the color is to be appreciated?
I am so bummed! The customer expects to have this ring by her
birthday which is on monday the 28th. All she talked about were the
beautiful red/orange flashes of color. She is not going to be happy
with the final result and believe me I have put a lot of time/work
into this ring.
Any recommendations/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much