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I repaired this Opal Inlay ring with a Trillion Diamond

Opal is a beautiful and special material but it is brittle and can break if it strikes a hard surface.

It is best to remove a ring when one will be doing work which could potentially damage an Opal inlay.

But, if it does get damaged, we can fix it for you.

Below, you will see photos and description of the process of repairing an Opal inlay.

Opal inlay ring with a Trillion diamond with a broken inlay.

Broken Opal inlay

Here you can see that one of the Opal inlays is broken and needs a new one inlaid to match.

An arrow telling users to click on the photo to make it larger.

You can see the black glue which was under the inlay. This is normal. The type of Opal which works best for inlay is translucent and needs a black backing to make the color 'pop' and come alive. A pigment is added to the epoxy to make it black.


Rough Opal

I keep a stock of various color combinations of Opal rough to match what was in the ring and to match the other Opals which are in the ring.

It can be very difficult to match Opals exactly due to the numerous combinations of colors, size of color patches, and color patterns.

If I cannot find a piece of Opal which will be an exact match, I err on the side of the new piece being slightly nicer than the other Opals in the ring.


Opal Inlay glued into the ring

Here you can see that I have fitted the Opal into the ring and have glued it in place with the black epoxy.


Trimming down the inlay

Here I am using a diamond cutting lap to take down the excess Opal to make it flush with the surface of the ring.


Sanding the Opal

Here I am using a special sanding pad to leave a nice pre-polished surface on the inlay prior to polishing it.


Polishing the Opal inlay

Here I am polishing the Opal inlay on a hard felt wheel with polishing compound which makes a bit of a mess.

x x

The new inlay is finished!

When you click on the images for a larger view, you will see that the one that I inlaid is just a bit more colorful than the other inlays on either side of it.

→ Take me back to examples of Opal inlays I have repaired


Denton Anderson,
Gemologist & Gem Cutter
click photo for Video

Photo of Denton the gem cutter.

Graduate Gemologist, GIA, GG
Over 20 years of experience.