Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ethiopian Opals Ring

I've never worked with opals before, but happened to see these on Magpie Gemstones Website, thought I might order a few and see what the muse could do with them. We played around with sterling silver coiled wire and came up with a sweet little ring. The wire was somewhat tarnished, so I threw the whole piece in the tumbler and let it run a few hours before it occurred to me that opals, being somewhat of a soft stone, might not fare too well rolling around with all that steel shot. Upon checking with my "opal expert" face book friends who concurred, I removed the piece....

oooops...

On the plus side, the silver was gleaming like the sun, but the experts were right, not a good idea, the opals had turned into little glassy globs, no opacity, no lovely flashes of blue and green....

sigh....

I was ready to write off the whole exercise as a learning experience when I noticed a few hours later that the opals were beginning to look a bit cloudy..... hmmmmm......perhaps they just absorbed some water.....maybe after thoroughly drying out??? So I let the piece dry over night, came in this afternoon and...

tadaaaaa!!!