Bits and pieces

by anthonylloydrees on December 8, 2008

Having bits left over is a quite different concern for a lapidary than it is for a motor car mechanic.

In this first case I didn’t do anything particularly clever but since I have some pictures of it I have to share. The first picture shows the checker-board cushion rectangle Amethyst that I cut to replace the original stone that had been severely busticated at one end;

Amethyst ring

And this is the square cushion I got from the remainder;

amethyst remainder

In this next case I had a couple of very bright opals that had both been chipped, the chipper/setter/jeweller had glued the chips back onto the stone and set them anyway. The disgusted chipper/setter/jeweller/owner eventually sold them to my customer. After removing the chips with an acetone soaked swab I recut the opals into a pair of ‘free form’ cabs that were very saleable and would readily and generously repay his investment.

I was left with a couple of conchoidal (like a piece of eggshell) opal chips that although pretty were quite small and very fragile. Useless for all practical purposes. In a fit of self amusement and loss of practical purpose I shaped a piece of lapis lazuli with a couple of recesses and then filled the backs of the opal with epoxy and fitted them into the lapis.

My customer was thrilled when he came to recover his opals as all his doubts and fears faded as he realised that his investment was not the risk he thought it to be. Being as how he was in such a good mood I showed him what I had done with his chipped off bits. Instead of giving me his useless chips he plied me with cash until I sold him my lapis;


Finally I have to share this 18kt pinball machine charm with a turquoise ‘pinball’. I cut and inlaid a new top to replace a yuck, piece plastic that had been glued across the top and had long since been abraded to opaque. Nothing clever from me but how often does one get a high score doing repairs;





{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

steve mashburn December 11, 2008 at 7:25 am

nice work…. and nice blog. i like your styles, both smiths…. wordsmith and goldsmith.

Tony December 10, 2008 at 12:05 am

Thanks guys. After removing the opal chips and cleaning them, they were to all intents and purposes completely clear and rather than putting them safely in a bag I put them down on my bench where they instantly disappeared from view. I picked them up and placed them on an oily lapis offcut that was left there from an earlier job and they came alive as the colours just jumped out at me. I figured this was meant to be and the rest was play.

It’s not like I don’t have plenty of Lapis and Opal laying around, I hadn’t put them together before. As suggested…worth pursuing further…thanks

shelbyvision December 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm

All very nice work, but the opal in the lapis is really cool, maybe worth pursuing further.

Kathy Johnson December 8, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Putting those opal chips in the lapis was sheer brilliance, and it’s absolutely gorgeous too!

Heather M Skowood jewelry December 8, 2008 at 10:51 am

clever use of the opal chips, nice!

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