Care of fine opal jewelry is vital if your opal jewelry is to remain looking its best. And care of opals and fine opal jewelry is different from caring for other types of gemstones. Gemstones are all different, with different chemical compositions and properties. For this reason, it is vital when considering how to care for your fine opal jewelry, to bear in mind the nature of the gemstone itself.
Natural opals are organic gemstones, which contain between 6-10% of water. Their high water content makes opals porous. This means opals readily absorb cosmetics, perfume and hairspray etc., over time, to the detriment of the gemstone.
In additions, opals are not extremely hard gems, like diamonds, and in fact are considerably softer than most other fine jewelry gemstones, such as sapphire, rubies, emeralds, etc. Their “softness” means they can be easily scratched by sharp and harder objects.
With these facts in mind, here are six top tips for care of your fine opal jewelry. Follow these and your opals will retain their mesmerising opalescence.
Care of Fine Opal Jewelry Top Tip #1
Do not wear your fine opal jewelry side by side with other jewelry pieces. This is especially important for opal bracelets and opal rings and will ensure that the individual pieces do not rub against each other. This will ensure minimal damage to your opal jewelry during wear.
Care of Fine Opal Jewelry Top Tip #2
When not being worn, keep your fine opal jewelry in separate boxes, or pouches, preferably with a soft cloth around each piece, to prevent rubbing and scratching from harder gemstones and the settings of other jewelry pieces.
Care of Fine Opal Jewelry Top Tip #3
Finish applying make-up, perfume, deodorants and hairspray BEFORE putting on your fine opal jewelry. In particular you should remember to put on your fine opal earrings AFTER hairspray. This will ensure that there is as little chemical build up on the surface of the gemstone as possible, and hence its absorption.
Care of Fine Opal Jewelry Top Tip #4
Occasionally clean your fine opal jewelry in a dilute solution of warm water and very mild detergent, such as a specialised porous jewelry cleaner or very mild washing up liquid using only gentle agitation. A specialised jewelry cleaning machine, such as Blitz Ultra Jewelry Cleaning Machine, uses just enough gentle agitation to remove all the dirt but will not draw out the oils and water from within the opal gemstone. A very soft toothbrush or a cloth can also be used but beware the risk of overscrubbing or you will damage the gemstone!
Care of Fine Opal Jewelry Top Tip #5
Do not immerse your opal jewelry unnecessarily in water. Remove opal rings before washing hands; remove all opal pendants, opal bracelets, etc., before bathing or showering and NEVER swim wearing fine opal jewelry.
Care of Fine Opal Jewelry Top Tip #6
To preserve the moisture content of fine opal jewelry and to prevent cracking and dehydration of gemstones, rub your fine opal jewelry with a very small amount of glycerine from time to time using a soft cloth. Wipe off any excess.
Follow these Six Top Tips for Care of Fine Opal Jewelry and you will be keep your fine opal jewelry looking like new for you to enjoy for years to come.