Treat Opal with care as you would any precious gem or investment; avoid heavy blows, abrasives, harsh chemicals and extreme heat.
Although you probably would not wear any gemstone jewellery while gardening or washing the dishes, solid Opal jewellery is actually best cleaned using a soft cloth and mild kitchen detergent in cool water.
Because water is part of its composition, Opal is a ‘living gem’ which should not be subjected to extreme heat and may be susceptible to dehydration.
1. If Opal is to be stored for protracted periods it should not be subjected to overly dry conditions such as those found in a bank safety deposit box.
2. Opals should be worn regularly as they are nourished by contact with their wearer.
3. The use of an ultrasonic cleaner for Opal jewellery is not recommended.
4. Opals should not be treated with mineral oils or glycerine despite its common but misguided use to store opal specimens. Clean or demineralised water is a better alternative for storage.
If you wish to have loose Opal set, be sure to find a reputable jeweller who is familiar and comfortable working with Opal. Have a go and design your own Opal jewel.
After a long life of steady use Opal jewellery may need re polishing, it is best to take it to an expert, preferably who sold it to you.
Note* Opal is a 'living gem' as are pearls, both are somewhat delicate gemstones, as are emeralds. Once mounted in a setting all gemstones are equally as vulnerable, including diamonds, which may chip (cleave) and fallout of their settings. Therefore all gemstones and jewellery should be handled respectfully.
Sources & Image Credits:
EXTRA LAPIS, No. 10. OPAL THE PHENOMENAL GEMSTONE (use of oils & glisterine)
THE bolda COLLECTION; Photo of 'Angels' carving
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