Australian Opal Ring Repair by The Hileman Collection 

Australian opal ring repairIf you wear your favorite Australian opal ring on a regular basis, you are bound to eventually have an opal inlay section chip or lose its polish over time.  Having a cracked, chipped or missing piece of opal is not the end of your ring.  We are opal inlay ring repair experts and can restore your precious opal ring to like new condition.  We have been creating our own line of Australian opal inlay jewelry since the early 1980's and have over 40 years of inlay experience.  We have opal to match most colors and patterns of Australian opal.  We are inlay experts specializing in flush set inlay.  We can also repair your turquoise, lab opal, sugilite, onyx or dinosaur bone jewelry.  Sorry, but we don't do repairs on opal cabochons, opal doublets, triplets or intarsia.  

The Opal Ring Repair Process

To get started on your opal ring repair we will need you to email us a clear photo showing the damage to your ring. In most cases we can give you an estimate for the cost of the inlay repair and restoration costs.  In some cases we won't be able to tell if there is enough channel depth to repair the inlay without examining the ring in our shop.  The ring needs an adequate amount of channel depth to securely hold the newly installed piece of opal inlay in place.  The epoxy needs enough surface area on the sides and bottom of the inlay channel to bond with or the inlay will eventually fall out.  If there is not enough channel we will advise you that we do not recommend spending your money on a repair that will not hold up.  Once you have an estimate you can choose whether or not to proceed with the repairs.

Shipping Us Your Opal Ring

There are several important things to do when shipping us your opal ring for repair.  First, make sure you have wrapped your ring in bubble wrap, tissue, cotton or something soft to protect it from further damage.  An old ring box would be an excellent choice as well.  We receive rings all the time that are loose and rattling around inside the box, potentially suffering more damage.  Please include your contact information on a piece of paper inside the box.  Many times we receive a ring for repair and have no idea who it is from because it was shipped from a UPS store with no contact information in the box.  Include your name, phone number, email address and return shipping address.  When you ship your ring, be sure to insure the package for the purchase amount of your ring just in case the package is lost or stolen.  We prefer UPS because we have a regular driver that knows most of the packages delivered and picked up are jewelry related.  Printable Shipping Instructions

We Have Received Your Ring - What's Next?

Once your ring has arrived for repair, we will inspect it for damage and contact you with a firm estimate if requested.  In some cases of severe damage, we may present the customer with different levels or restoration if budget is an issue.  Sometimes chips or cracks may be filled with epoxy resin to salvage the piece of opal until the budget allows for replacement.  Lab created opal is a budget friendly option we recommend for some situations.  Opal replacement cost can range from $80 for a really small piece to several hundred dollars for a large piece.  The cost will also vary based on the complexity of the design of the ring and the shape of the opal to be replaced as well as the quality of the opal.  After receiving approval to proceed, we will send the customer a bill through PayPal or collect the payment information over the phone.  

How Long Does the Repair Process Take?

The time needed to repair your ring will vary depending on our work load.  We spend most of our work days filling orders for our Australian opal jewelry and try to work in repairs when we have a day with no deadlines.  March, April and May are our busiest months along with December, so expect repairs sent during those months to require the most time to complete.  The actual labor time varies depending on how many inlay pieces need replacement.  We have to drill out the cracked or chipped opal with a diamond drill bit and then remove any old epoxy from the inlay channel so the new opal inlay with fit properly and have a secure bond to the mounting.  The new opal is then cut with a diamond saw and then expertly fit in the inlay channel by grinding it down on a diamond coated wheel.  After achieving a perfect fit, the new opal is glued in place with a strong industrial epoxy.  Once the epoxy has cured, the ring is polished by grinding the opal and gold on a series of progressively smoother diamond wheels.  The opal is then polished on a leather wheel with tin oxide.  The final step is to put a high polish on the gold and opal inlay with a high speed buffing wheel.  The restored ring is now ready to photograph and ship back to the customer.


For information about how to care for your Australian opal ring or jewelry, please visit our opal jewelry care page.