Bonding Opal to Metal

16 Apr 2010

By Tom and Kay Benham, Contributing Editors, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

If you must bond an opal into a silver or gold setting, we suggest using a high-quality, two-part epoxy adhesive. The secret to achieving a good bond joint is (1) clean both surfaces to be bonded with alcohol to remove any oil or grease residue and (2) be certain that the epoxy is well mixed. You should mix continuously for approximately two minutes.

If the top of the opal has been scratched or marked by a Dremel®, it needs to be reground and repolished. But, if the quartz crystal cap itself has come off, then the remaining surface needs to be lightly ground using a flat lap to remove any high spots and the adhesive residue, taking care not to grind through the layer of color and fire. Then a new quartz cap should be carefully bonded to this surface, again, using high-quality, two-part epoxy.


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montesalps wrote
on 10 May 2010 5:35 AM

Hi,

   I am almost at the stage of setting opal into setting.  I was very happy to see this helpful tip but was not aware that quartz crystal was used as a cap.  Please tell me more about this procedure or direct me to where I might learn the why and how of it.  Thank you so much.

                  Respectfully,

                    dolores montes

on 10 May 2010 9:45 AM

Great info!  Along those lines, how does one go about removing 220 epoxy if you have happened to let a bit ooze outside of the stone/metal?  (when it is dry)

Thanks,

Jo Anne