About Inlay

Inlay is a big rage and has pushed opal into the limelight. Our manufacturing jewelers are finding it necessary to use opal in Inlay just to sell their Tanzanite, ruby, etc. We enjoy this new popularity, which has also pushed blue/green crystal prices up. Luckily, we have been able to hold the line on prices — because our miner friends are working with us, due to our large purchases. But, crystal (top end) has reached absurd prices on the Lambina Field. We don’t stock the top crystal because better value exists at lower, carefully selected prices.

  • New Fashion Trend – Queensland Boulder opal inlay at mine prices.
  • Cost Trade-off – The more time you spend cleaning up your opal, the less the initial cost per gram, the more the waste, and the more time you spend. Just the reverse is true as one moves up the price scale — the higher the price, the less waste, the higher the yield,
    and the less time you will spend. It all depends on you!
  • Lots – We have more lots than space to show them so call and ask — 559-299-5123.
  • For example:Lot-L069 is composed of green/blue seams of tight pattern in flat large
    pieces. Can be slabbed, like bacon.Here’s another: C0106 — true blue green crystal, small pieces (10-20 per oz.); some pieces are larger 4 to the ounce; mostly skin to skin; clean. $40 to 80 per gram.
  • As with most opal, brightness, directionality, etc. varies with the lot.
  • Pictures on the web are only representational because ISP’s and variations in computer graphic capabilities limit the website, etc. Sooooo — the best option is to call us @ 559-299-5123.
  • Inlay is tedious work with a marvelous outcome and is combined with other gems beautifully.
  • A story: A manufacturing jeweler called and stated that much of the opal in 70 rings had turned white after delivery to customers. He was unhappy because of the immense cost of repairing the pieces of jewelry. Here are my questions and his answers:

    My Questions His Answers
    1. What glue did you use? 1. I don’t know. Super-glue!
    2. What colorant did you use? 2. I don’t know. Ink, I think.
    3. How long did the glue set? 3. I don’t know.
    4. Why is the opal white? 4. I don’t know.
    5. If you wet the ring, putting water behind the stone and the dark background, what color does the opal become? 5. It turns from white to black.

    What happened? His staff made several mistakes. He used the wrong glue, he should have used epoxy, the wrong colorant, the wrong period of curing the glue, and probably had dirty surfaces to which to apply the glue.

    Here are reliable answers to those questions:

    1. Reliable glue: Hughes Epoxy 330. ($3.75)
    2. Reliable colorant: Colors available from Tibara, dk blue, baby blue, black, red purple. ($4.50)
    3. Curing time: For Hughes 330 = 1-1/2 hours — Ok to use a lamp to hasten curing; over night to complete hardening.

    Remember, the more colorant you use and thereby dilute the epoxy, the less well any epoxy will hold/bond. Refrigerate your epoxy when not in use and let it stand at room temperature for at least an hour before you use it.

    Details: Reading available for $3.75 postpaid. Had the manufacturing jeweler read the reading we gave him, he would have saved thousands in costs and loss in reputation.

    Seminar: Come to our Inlay Seminars in Tucson. This is the only series of comprehensive talks and demonstrations about opal — including INLAY!!! Sign Up Now.

    Here are some of the lots/parcels of opal we currently have!

    1. Too many lots to note.
    2. Span is Crystal -> Crystal seams -> Jelly for inlay.
    3. Rule of thumb: the more one pays, the more crystal, tighter pattern, etc. is present. Cuts more like a slab of bacon (an ideal that doesn’t occur often.)
    4. Recommend Hughes Epoxy 330 and colorants. $3.50 – $3.95. These colorants are chemically compatible — made for and tested by Hughes.
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