A gemstone rich in legends and history, opal encompasses the beauty of all gemstones and fascinates with its interpenetrating colors.
Opal earring by 9Avril ¨Paris
The Australian Aborigines are convinced that their ancestral being Dream - time descended to earth on a rainbow and that the stones surrounding him were transformed into the first opals. The flashes of color on opals are said to reflect the changing moods and emotions of the wearer. The play of colors of opals is certainly a unique and breathtaking phenomenon, which is why they are coveted by the wealthy, kings, gem collectors, mystics and healers. Opals have gained a reputation as a “symbol of hope” and “the stone of lovers and artists.” They have a luxurious appearance when used in fine jewelry and can be treasured for years. But it must be taken care of so that the vibrant colors and luster remain intact. Here's how you can show your love for your opal jewelry and cherish it forever:
The hardness of opals ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 Mohs, making it a soft gemstone. You can store them when working in harsh conditions or handling harsh chemicals. This way you will prevent scratches and cracks from developing on these colorful beauties.
Opals are delicate gemstones and have approximately 20-30% water trapped in them. Intense heat and light can cause cracks or fracture lines in these stones. They are sensitive to extreme and sudden changes in temperature. Also, when storing your opals, keep them wrapped in a damp cloth or with a damp piece of cotton to prevent dehydration.
It's best to wear your opals more often if you want them to stay beautiful for years to come. By exposing opals to moisture in the air and in your body, you will keep them hydrated and preserve the stunning colors they contain.
You can choose opal earrings and pendants for daily wear and save opal rings for occasions. An opal ring will be more suited to a bezel setting if you plan to wear it every day.
It is recommended to clean opal jewelry every four or five months, and you can do it at home. You can use a mild detergent and warm water to loosen accumulated dirt and clean the jewelry with a soft brush or cloth. However, avoid using the brush on the surface of the gemstone.
Avoid using bleach, harsh cleaning solutions and chemicals on opals. They do not support caustic alkaline solutions and hydrofluoric acid. Likewise, you will end up damaging opals if you clean them in an ultrasonic device. From time to time, you can take your opal jewelry to a professional jeweler for re-polishing to preserve its shine.
With these simple cleaning and maintenance tips, you can increase the life of your opal jewelry. Opal accessories are unique pieces in your collection, and with a little attention and care, they can look newer than ever.