Many people have been showing me their opal cutting skills while the opal is still on the dop stick. I have found a very common occurrence in that there is usually way too much wax on the stick. This excess of wax means that it is almost impossible to polish the edges of the opal. I have created a diagram to help get it right as I see the middle picture much too often. Dopping opal can be an art.
A good polish on an opal goes right down the sides to make a good setting edge. This can be difficult with the wax covering the sides of the gem. You will always need to keep the wax under the edge of the opal so your polishing can be wax free and you won’t leave any opal unpolished. Don’t worry about the stone flying off the wax. If you have heated the opal a little (not too much) the wax will hold. Just make sure all of the wax is below and underneath the sides.
Having too little wax can cause the opal to come off the stick. So just add a little more wax and off you go. Also the wax is reusable many times over so their is no need to clean the dop stick every time. You just may need to add a little wax to the stick now and then.
Green wax is the best coloured wax for all the temperature seasons as it will hold fast unlike red and black wax. If you can’t get it where you are, you can purchase it directly from us here.
If you have any questions or want some feedback on your dopping skills, comment and upload a picture below.