Care Tips for Your Australian Polished Opal Jewellery

Opal is a one-of-a-kind gemstone. Each opal is unique. Opals, like other gemstones, are fragile. To preserve their health and longevity, they need specific care.

Opals are the national gemstone of Australia and the source of the bulk of these stones around the world. They’re an exciting and appealing stone. Opals were considered the most valuable and powerful stones by the Romans because they combined all of the hues of other gems into one.

Opal jewellery has been renowned for generations, and it takes an effort to care for it properly.

Opal is a valuable gemstone that, when properly cared for, may last a lifetime and be passed down through generations. Although opals are more delicate than other gemstones, you can still wear them daily if specific guidelines are followed. Whether your opal jewellery includes a solid opal, a doublet, or a triplet inside, it can be readily cared for and will continue to look great for years to come.

Follow the steps in our quick instructions below to get the most out of this incredible gemstone and keep it looking lovely and clean for the rest of your life.

Interesting Details of the Australian Polished Opal Jewellery

It takes millions of years for an opal to form. Each one of these members of the quartz family is distinctive, with a distinct sheen and sparkle created by a constantly shifting play of hues.

White to red, grey, green, orange, yellow, blue, rose, pink, magenta, slate, brown, black and olive are just some of the colours found in multicoloured Australian polished opals. Red on black is the most uncommon combination, while white and green are the most common. Check out these amazing opals available in all shades.

Scientists revealed the mysterious genesis of the opal’s play-of-colour in the 1960s with the help of an electron microscope. The microscopic silica spheres that make up an opal can be organized in a way that diffracts light into spectral hues as it enters the stone. The varied hues refracted in the opal are caused by the density and pattern of aligned silica spheres; this is scintillation.

The Most Common Causes of Damage to Your Opal Jewelry

Opals, like every other gemstone, should be kept apart from the rest of your collection. The two most common causes of jewellery breakage, you might be shocked to find, are:

Wearing jewellery to bed

You might be shocked, but you’d be astonished how much you move around while sleeping—wearing jewellery while sleeping can cause the objects to be crushed or destroyed as your body weight presses down on them. Alternatively, you could accidentally bump your ring against hard surfaces (walls, bed edges) while asleep.

Keeping all of your jewels in one bag or purse

Another surprising area is clumping your jewellery together in a bag. Doing this invariably results in the diamonds (the hardest stones), sapphires, and gold settings scratching the opals and pearls, or the chains, clasps, and findings scratching each other. These jumbled pieces wear and scratch each other every time the jewellery bag moves around, and the damage can be significant over time.

So keep your jewellery separately wrapped to prevent unnecessary damage.

Care of Opal Jewelry

Select the Finest String or Setting for Your Australian Polished Opal Jewelry

Australian polished opal jewellery is better as earrings, brooches, and pendants than rings since they are sensitive to contact shocks as well as scratches. If you’re thinking about getting an opal ring, go for a setting where the metal extends over the opal. However, avoid bezel or prong placements since they can put too much pressure on the opal. Keep in mind that an opal ring will most likely need to be polished regularly.

Consider the opal’s setting and the type of jewellery it’s in. Bezel settings provide more protection for the edges, while claws offer less protection. Because they will not be subjected to extreme conditions, opals worn in less-abused regions (such as pendants and earrings) can have any sort of mounting.

Buy Opal Jewelry from an Authentic Shop

Purchase high-quality opals from a reputable dealer or jeweller. Someone who is an opal cutter would be ideal. This may appear odd “care” advice, but the stone you buy is just as vital as the care you give it. This is why. Many jewellers have no idea what an opal is and can’t give you the best care guidance. You can take care of what you have if you realize what you have.

Do Not Drench Your Opal Rings in Water or Expose Them to Chemicals or Heat

Opals are porous, as well as being softer than diamonds. As a result, you should never clean opal jewellery by entirely immersing it in water. Instead, use a very smooth, moist towel and refrain from using chemical cleaners. Ethiopian opals are unique among opals in that they cannot be wet without causing harm.

It’s crucial to remove your ring before engaging in activities that could damage it and with extremely hot or cold weather. When exposed to sudden temperature changes, such as cleaning the dishes or bathing, opals are prone to cracking. Opals are very porous, soft, and brittle.

As a result, the stone can get discoloured for various causes, including exposure to water, cleaning solutions, soap, perfume, and heat.

Opals are similar to sponges. They’ll just take it in if you use a strong chemical or boiling water. That will damage the colour play and any shine your opal may have.

Keep Your Opals in the Correct Place

Simply place your opal in a cushioned cloth bag for protection and keep it away if you need to store it for an extended period. To keep your opal safe for longer periods, wrap it in cotton wool with a few drops of water, then put it in a plastic bag.

The water is not intended to penetrate the stone (since opal is impermeable). Still, it will keep water from escaping if exposed to extremely low humidity levels (for example, zero humidity storage safes).

If the water in opals evaporates, they will craze (grow surface fissures) and lose their colour play. Wrapping your opal jewellery in soft, damp cotton before storing it can help to extend its life. Keep your opals away from oil and glycerin. If you put your opals in oils or glycerin, it’ll make cleaning them messier and more complicated.

Care for Solid Opals

Many folks believe that water can harm solid opals, although this is also true for doublets and triplets. In water, solid opals are fine. In reality, water makes up about 5-6 per cent of most expensive opals. As a result, if exposed to arid circumstances or fast temperature changes, the opal may break. Avoid extremes in temperature or humidity, such as boiling water or bank vaults with no moisture.

Care for composite opals (doublets, triplets, inlays, and mosaics)

Doublet opals have two layers: a thin opal slice and a black background.

Triplets and doublets have a lot in common. A third transparent layer (quartz or glass) is added to the top of a triplet to protect the opal and give it a rounder form.

Manufacturers use glue to join these layers. The glues have gotten increasingly water-resistant over time. However, wearing opal doublets and triplets while showering, swimming or washing dishes is not suggested.

Keep Your Opals Away from Dirt

Dirt can scratch your opals. You may be tempted to clean your opal jewellery with a damp cloth, but that is not a good idea. Opals have a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. On the Mohs scale, most home dust is 7 to 7.5. That dirt has the potential to scratch your opal. Instead, clean them as directed above.

Be Aware of Damaging Your  Opal Jewelry

The most crucial factor in extending the life of opal is being aware of where and when you use it. When there’s a chance your opal jewellery can become scratched or dirty, don’t wear it. Tiny particles of dirt or sand can readily damage the stone, and any severe hits can cause it to break. Opal jewellery should never be worn while participating in sports or working in the garden.

Don’t wear an opal when you’re gardening since the sand or soil could remove the polish, or you could crush it against a rock if you get too excited, and opals don’t enjoy being treated that way. (Neither would you or I, for that matter.) There’s also the possibility that it may damage the gold or silver claws, and you’ll lose the stone entirely. If you’re conducting any work that could cause the stone to come into touch with hard surfaces, remove it. It might be chipped with a jerk of the wrist in the wrong way.

Before putting on opal jewellery, use your perfumes, colognes, and hairsprays, but be very careful, as opals react badly to alcohol and acids.

I hope these suggestions will assist you in caring for your opal jewellery.

Author: nohoarts