Opal setting can refer to the way in which the opal is handled prior to the setting of the stone into the jewellery setting, or the method in each it is set into the metal.
In the case of solid opals, including solid light opals, boulder and black opals, once they are cut and polished, they are ready to be set into the metal setting much the same way as with other gemstones (typically claw set or bezel set).
For composite opals such as doublets, the layer of solid light opal or crystal opal is bonded to a layer of material, typically ironstone or onyx. Once completed, the doublet will be ready to be set into jewellery in much the same way solid opal does.
Solid Inlay opal follows a very different path when it is being set into sterling silver, gold or other metal setting; often with solid or doublet opals, jewelers will tailor the metal setting to the form and shape of the opal. In the case of solid inlay opal, the opal is cut into the correct size and form of the jewellery setting, before being bonded to the base of the setting without the help of traditional claws or bezels. Finally the metal and the opal are polished together, resulting in smooth and flowing contours which are truly breathtaking.