First thought was, make the silver shank soft. I'm used to copper, but apparently silver is slightly different, get it red hot and let it cool down,rather than quench it. However I found my torch is more suited to melting roof pitch than delicate work and it sort of melted the surface so it looked like tree bark! This tipped even me off that I was rather out of my depth. So I consulted with a local jeweler. This confirmed I was indeed in deep water. So off to Kernowcraft for supplies again.
Not three miles away lives an old lady, the mother in law. I take her shopping every week and out for an airing on Saturdays. On just such an innocent trip I happened to mention that I intended to visit Kernowcraft ( http://www.kernowcraft.com/) out Peranporth way, she expressed and interest in going along, so wife and old dear in tow, that's where we went, it was there the trouble started. The old dear loves opals, there were opals on the front counter, blithely she announced she wanted an opal, selected one (£98!) . I did wonder just where this was going but....well if you reach 90 years your sort of entitled to indulge yourself. She then announced that I would, and had agreed, to make her a silver opal ring...my eye met the wives and I raised an eyebrow, I had no knowledge of agreeing to anything, but, hell, I'm all about the quiet life so I nodded, shuffled about and wondered as she chose the stone, I did intervene to point out I needed a bit of silver for the back, some for the ring and a bit of 'gallery' to go round the edge. Thinking on my feet, I was already there planning.