Opal Care Guide
Australian Opal is made to be loved and cherished. They hold beauty that takes your breath away and even though they are precious, caring for them is actually quite easy and fuss free. They ain’t no divas! They’re the perfect gem and maintaining their beauty is a walk in the park!
In order to understand how you can care for your beautiful opal, it’s good to know a little bit about their composition. Australian Opal is Hydrated Silica that has been formed from the dawn of time, deep below the earth’s surface in the harsh Aussie climate. This gives you an idea of its resilience to heat and water, and the natural energy it holds. Australian Opal is the most durable of all opal and measures 6.5 on the Mohs scale. We make them tough Down Under but they’re also precious which means some simple care will go a long way in keeping them vibrant for years to come.
Your Questions Answered
How do I store my opals?
When you’re not admiring your opals and they’re tucked away in a safe spot, there are a couple of things to be mindful of. When storing your Australian Opal please give them their own space. Don’t put your opal together with your other gems or jewelry. They aren’t happy sharing space with diamonds, rubies or other gems you might have. Store your opal in its own box, away from other jewels. For optimum keeping, felt or a soft lining inside your jewelry box is best. You can also use soft, silky pouches. Whatever you choose is fine as long as the material is soft. This way, your opal isn’t in danger of being scratched by sharp edges.
How do I clean loose opal?
If your opals have lost their dazzle here are a few tips to replenish their sparkle. Gently rub your Australian opal using a soft jewelers cloth or wash with warm soapy water. If you have opal jewelry, use an old toothbrush to gently clean around the setting and dry with a jewelers cloth – You can learn more on our Caring for your Opal Jewelry page. A simple beauty regime for a lifetime of earthly beauty. It doesn’t take much for them to look their best.
I have heard opals must not get wet. Is this true?
False. Opals are made up of hydrated silica – which are water molecules. Exposing your solid opal to moisture is absolutely fine and they can be washed in tepid (body temperature warm) water. As with other precious gems, exposure to water is not the issue – it is the dishwashing detergent and other chemicals that may be in the water that could damage your opal. It’s always best to take your opals off before handling food or other chemicals.
What about doublets and triplets – can they get wet?
Doublets and triplets are opals that are bonded to a darker host material – either glass, plastic or common opal potch. They are usually bonded with a glue. Prolonged or repeated exposure to water may soften the glue and delaminate the opal – creating a cloudy appearance which is almost impossible to reverse. To be safe, avoid water when wearing doublet or triplet opal.
Opal Myths Busted
We love a quirky tale as much as the next person, but opal myths can start to sound like facts if repeated often enough. Opal science class is now in session — join us to learn some opal chemistry.