I’m an amateur jeweler, working mostly for the fun of it. I recently got a parcel of opal doublets. They’re nice looking pieces but some are wider at the top than at the bottom. I can’t make a bezel as I usually do with a cabochon because of the shape of the stones. Should I use prongs? Is there another method I could try? There isn’t much money involved, so I’m willing to experiment on some of these unusual opal doublets. I’m hoping to learn something new!
You actually can bezel set a cabochon that is larger at the top edge than at the bottom. I worked with a couple of opal doublets that had that problem earlier this year. Even though I’m a lapidarist by trade, I didn’t want to re-cut those stones. Instead, I modified a trick a jeweler friend taught me. Looked at from the side, the opal doublets were basically shaped like very short rubber stoppers, tapered at the bottom with a slightly rounded top. I built a perfectly vertical bezel around the stone while it sat, upside down, in place. This left the bezel even with the bottom of the stone. When I replaced the opal flat-side down, the bezel was then taller than the edge of the stone. I then rolled the top edge of the bezel over like you would normally do.
I hope this helps.