The different types of Opal Shapes and Settings Are Endless

Opal shapes and settings Opals can be cut into a wide range of popular shapes. Oval is by far the most popular shape, followed by the circular or round shape. Teardrop, square, rectangle, and triangle are other common shapes.

Most solid opals and doublets are cut and polished with a convex dome or curved top. This encourages light into the stone so that the opal’s iridescent properties are shown at their best. For triplets, the dome is created by a crystal cap that covers the flat slice of opal. Some opal cutters prefer to let the opal define its shape rather than imposing a shape on the stone. Opals cut in this manner assume unusual freeform shapes.

This ring is an example of where the cutter has followed the natural contour of the opal bar and has produced a stone with undulating shapes. A most unique effect and an example of the many and varied opal shapes and settings

Australian opal is rarely faceted, nearly always domed. A domed stone is stronger and less prone to chipping. However, opal without a play of color (such as cherry red or amber opal from Mexico) is often faceted and can look a lot like ruby.

Opal shapes and settings often depend on the initiative of the Cutter.

Opals are a carver‘s delight.  The stone is not too hard to work with and will not wear out your diamond tools as much as such stones as chrysoprase, agate, or the like. Opals are a carver’s delight. The stone is not too hard to work with and will not wear out your diamond tools as much as such stones as chrysoprase, agate, or the like. This Koala
has been carved from a chunk of opaque white or milk opal from the Coober Pedy region in South Australia.

Opal Sizes

Opals are often calibrated to specific sizes to make the stones easier to fit into standard jewellery castings. The most popular calibrations are stated in millimetre (mm) measurements.

Click on the calibration chart to see an enlarged version of the gauges used for various shapes and sizes of cut opals. Use your Back button to return to this page.

Popular sizes are listed below. Sizes in bold type are more commonly available than other sizes.

Round: 5 mm and 6 mm

Oval: 6 x 4, 7 x 5, 8 x 6, 9 x 7, 10 x 8, 12 x 10, 14 x 10, 16 x 12, 18 x 13, 20 x 15, 25 x 18, 30 x 22, 40 x 30.

Opal Shapes and settings have to be taken into consideration when castings are made

Jewelry castings for opals can range from very simple designs to very ornate designs with accent diamonds.

Low Cost Findings (settings) these are available for opal cutting enthusiasts and are not expensive. They are a way of putting home cut stones into settings that can be sold as pendants with chains also provided. They can be silver, silver gold plated, gold plated over base metal.

There are some interesting myths associated with opal settings. Some folks believe that doublets and triplets are always put into fully backed settings to hide the potch backing. Others believe that full backings are used to protect the stone. Neither myth is true. A jeweler could just as easily “hide” a doublet in an open backed setting–as the join line between the stone and the potch backing would be covered by the side of the setting, making it difficult to see whether the back of the stone was a different stone or simply the less brilliant side of the same stone.

You will find a huge variety of opal shapes and settings in the shop section of this site

7 Responses to “Opal Shapes and Settings”

  1. Renee

    looking for a necklace setting for an odd shaped opal please. I would like it to be silver. Can you help?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • admin

      Renee, do you have your own stone or do you want an opal as well as the setting?. please email me direct from the email in red at the right hand side of the http://www.opalmine.com Pleased to help if i can. peter

      Reply
  2. Herbert Fellows

    Hi. I recently bought an opal rough piece and with the help of an experienced opal cutter, we have cut a gorgeous pendant piece out of it. While cutting it, I was asking about shape as far as finding a setting for it. He said that we should not sacrifice the beauty of the opal for the sake of a setting, we would deal with that later.
    Well, later is here now, and of course it doesn’t fit any normal setting. It seems as if I’ll have to pay a lot of money for a custom setting for it, something I was hoping to avoid. He said we could wire wrap it, but I think I want to protect it more than that will afford.
    I was thinking of something similar to an all enveloping setting that would have a solid back and protect it considerably more than a wire wrap. While this would hide some of the color on the sides, I feel the protection factor would make this a prudent choice.
    Any suggestions? If I need to get a custom sterling setting, any idea where to go? Thanks!

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Herbert. We do manufacturing here but it would require that you send it to us. First, its a good idea to work out what you can afford and this will determine the best metal to use for the opal. I will send you a separate email so that we can discuss that aspect further and i will give you the best advice possible. Just let me know where you live. best wishes, Peter

      Reply
    • admin

      Herbert, did i answer you about this? I think i might have missed you. Anyway, pleased to make some comments. Bezel setting is really the best way to go with any opal. However if the piece you have bought is free form, it might be better to set it with claws as you will save costs on the setting and really, a pendant doesnt get the rough treatment of a ring. I think it would be a good idea if you sent me a picture of the piece and i can make some suggestions and help you with designs if you would like that. You will need a digital camera with macro facility. let me know if you need help with this. sorry for late reply Herbert. Peter

      Reply
  3. admin

    No problems Holly, actually the best place to get them is from me if the students just want something for $5 or $10 or so that they can claw set their cabs. I have a stock of gold and rhodium plated pendants, earrings, bracelets etc. I can send you some pics if you like. If you want higher grade settings for gold, there are some online sites that do castings but with the price of gold nowadays i doubt the students could afford it. anyway, just post your reaction to this on this forum and we will take it from there.

    Reply
  4. Holly Fleming

    Peter,
    Can you refer me to an online seller of settings for hobby-cut opals?
    I like the renovated site!

    Regards,

    Holly

    Reply

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