Mexican Mud Opal Ruby Lava Ring 12-10-15 February 20 2016

The gentleman walked in with a large rough chunk of Mexican opal asking, "What can be done with this?" It looked like it had some interesting and intense fire hidden under that opaque exterior. I told him I had a friend who was much more knowledgeable than I about opals and he is an opal cutter. Some time later my friend had cut two stones from the piece, both showing exceptional color and fire.
I was commissioned to make this ring from one of them. It is a total free form design based on the fluid patterns made by pahoehoe lava framed by a more conservative, contemporary border. It was hand sculpted in wax and cast using 21 grams of 18K gold. Having the gold come over the top of the stone is one of the most challenging assignments I have ever faced. The gold on top was lifted up, the stone slid in, then l very carefully pulled it down over the opal and secured it by riveting through the front face of the ring to the bottom. Burmese rubies accent the 'lava' on each side.