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:
- Reliable glue: Hughes Epoxy 330. ($3.75)
- Reliable colorant: Colors available from Tibara, dk blue, baby blue, black, red purple. ($4.50)
- 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!
C244 InlayTop blue green crystal as pictured: clear, clean, tight pattern, ready to go = $148/gram. Supply limited; this is an old parcel. Better yet @ $175 to 200/gram with brighter fire and RED if you want it for inlay.Lot C063Lambina chunky pieces with seams of green fire. Some B/G. Waste runs 30 to 40% -- sometimes 50%. Random sample = $14/gr. Parcel prices available.Various lots and prices: Lightning RidgeAs pictured $10 to 30/gram. Other rough parcels: LR Inlay #2 = 16/gr. LR Inlay, small pieces --need to be cleaned-up, 96 grams: $480 (net). More new lots arriving all the time. Call for information.Lot L060Lambina. Like L-C061 and C063, but runs from $2 to 6 per gram. Lowest part of this parcel is best for cabbing. Seams can be directional. Mixed bag re cabbing and inlay. Takes work and sometimes a backing for the thin seams.Lot L-C061Lambina. Chunky like C063, but more blue jelly and thinner seams. Random sample per ounce = $6.25 per gram. Loss = 30%+ depending on piece.Lot C0101Unsorted parcel of Coober Pedy with blue, blue-green and green-blue seams that can be isolated for inlay. Base is jelly through crystal (bars). Some purple, but note that very little purple shows pattern. Unsorted price per gram = $12.50 per gram. Random $10.00 lot per gram = $10 per gram. ($2,835.00)Lot C0103Green/blue, all sizes -- slices like bacon in bigger chunks. Good tight pin - pin/flash patterns. Seams are not the same thickness all around. IF YOU NEED EASILY MATCHED PIECES, this is an excellent value. $30 to 40/gram. (Some liquid green fire.)Lot LR2-110Green crystal with some blue/green crystal. Translucent base, cuts slabs like bacon, but brighter than the above. More flash pattern. $95 to 105/gram. Some of this parcel is "wizbang" red pin/wiry pattern @ $125/gram. Limited quantities.Lambina BGfloating flash, chunky pieces available @ $90/gram.
- Too many lots to note.
- Span is Crystal -> Crystal seams -> Jelly for inlay.
- 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.)
- Recommend Hughes Epoxy 330 and colorants. $3.50 – $3.95. These colorants are chemically compatible — made for and tested by Hughes.