Can you remove my current diamond cluster and replace it with a round opal?

My engagement ring has a cluster of diamonds set in a dome shape. They have lost their sparkle and I was wondering if it would be possible to have an opal set in its place instead? Also, if there is any opal left over, can this be used elsewhere?

“I am sorry to hear that your ring has lost its sparkle, and I would like to help if I can.

I’m always keen to keep engagement and wedding rings intact due to their sentimental value, but I also appreciate that this isn’t always possible or desirable. I’m sure you have investigated lots of options, but just to cover all bases I thought I’d mention steam cleaning. Without seeing your ring “in the flesh”, it is difficult to comment on whether or not the stones are scratched and therefore dull, or if a steam clean might clean out the settings and bring the sparkle back. Settings can trap polish, soap and dust debris which the stone then amplifies because of its cut. A metal cleaning dip/ toothbrush and soap clean won’t clear that, but it may be worth looking at the steam cleaning option in the first instance. I don’t have a steam cleaner but I do know a couple of jewellers who do, and the rings they’ve cleaned for me have always looked incredible.

If you would prefer to replace the centre of your engagement ring, then what you are wishing to do is feasible in theory, although quite an involved process. Again, without handling the ring I can’t comment on the intricacies, but the general process would be to remove centre of the engagement ring (it looks as though there are series of stones pave set into the ring), make and solder a new setting in place to hold the opal, set the opal (cutting the opal to size if necessary) and re-polish.

I could source a stone for you, although it may need to be cut to size to fit the engagement ring – as your wedding ring is shaped around your engagement ring it isn’t an option to use a slightly larger stone; a slightly smaller stone may work with a much thicker bezel/ surround,  but something to look at further once the ring dimensions are known. If the opal were to be cut, there wouldn’t be anything left for a necklace as the “cutting” process is actually more like grinding with highly abrasive discs which results in a powder. If you wanted a necklace, this could be made using a new opal.

Costings for something like this are very challenging. Making a ring from scratch is much more straightforward than altering a ring as substantially as this, so there are far more elements to consider before producing an estimate. It would be great to see your engagement ring before costing it, but if you would like a ballpark figure before then, please can you send me as much information on the setting area (bit to be replaced) as you can – eg: diameter and height of the area, and images of the inside of the ring would be very helpful too. And although this may seem like a silly question based on the name of my business, I do work in gold as well, so just want to check that I am correct in thinking your ring is silver?

And lastly, gemstone selection is a very personal choice, and you have probably done a lot of research on what you want to put into your ring.

However, it would be remiss of me not to highlight the fact that opals are soft and can be damaged more easily than many other precious and semiprecious stones (eg: diamonds, sapphires). Opals do lose their “polish” due to small surface scratches and you may have a similar challenge with your ring then as you do now. I’ve placed a link to an opal site that has some good ideas on opal engagement rings: I am not a stone expert and definitely not a lapidary, but I work with several suppliers who do have their own lapidaries who can cut and polish stones, so re-polishing at a later date is an option.

I do hope that I haven’t overwhelmed you with information, and would be happy to work with you further on your idea. If you are local to my shop you are welcome to visit and we can have a look at your ring and take it from there, or we can continue by email if that is easier for you.”