Opal has a reputation
for being a "delicate" stone, yet it is more durable than you
might think. Let's take a deeper look at the opal and some tips for caring
for your beautiful gemstone.
Gemstones and Opal Jewlery:
With Proper Care, They Will Provide
Years of Enjoyment
A Reliable Source
Of Opal Gemstones and Opal Jewelry
Many of the opal stones that are sold on the open market are of inferior
quality. Some retailers try to keep the prices of their opal jewelry down
by using low-grade, lackluster, fire-less, white opal. Since the gemstones
are the most expensive component of your jewelry, you have to know and
trust your source, otherwise you may "get what you pay for"!
1st Class Gems always insists on only the finest grade opals and has many
satisfied customers who appreciate the added value.
Opals: Soft And
Brittle Or Hard As Steel?
While many people think the opal is a "soft" stone, more often
the opal has a tendency to be "brittle". The Australians refer
to it as "cracky" for obvious reasons. Opals really do not like
being knocked around, abused or whacked. Opals can be especially vulnerable
at spots such as where the prongs hold the stone to a ring or pendant.
The hardness of opal
varies, but is generally around 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs
scale, which surprisingly enough, is about the same hardness as stainless
Caring For Your
Besides avoiding impact, you need to respect the natural moisture level
of your opals. Since the stone may dry out over time, there are some easy
things you can do to prevent that. After you clean it, you can use a tiny
amount of mineral oil on it to help with dryness. Also, while it is being
worn, you can slightly rub the palm of your hand over it. There will be
enough natural oil in your skin to recoat and protect the opal.
Things to avoid while
caring for your precious opal jewelry include: ammonia, airtight (dry)
storage, extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, washing dishes (because
of the potential for impact and abrasive detergents), heat, chemicals,
and jewelry cleaners that use soap, steam, boiling, or ultrasonic cleaning
methods. These may cause or contribute to cracking, scratching, or discoloration
of your opal.
The best way to clean
your opal jewelry is with a specially formulated jewelry cloth. In place
of this, just a dampened soft cloth will do. (Beware! Even some paper
towels are rough enough to cause micro-scratches that will diminish the
lustre of your stone over time!) To remove stubborn deposits or build-ups,
try using water with a little vinegar added. While water will not harm
a solid opal, it may cause problems separating layers in "doublet"
and "triplet" stones if the stone is submersed and water is
allowed to penetrate between layers.
Be sure to store your
stone in a place of average to moderate humidity. You can actually store
them in a plastic bag along with a damp cloth to maintain the moisture.
Insure Your Opal
Gemstones And All Your Jewelry
Also, check with your insurance agent to verify that your opals and all
of your jewelry are covered against theft, loss, or damage. It is best
to take a picture of your jewelry and store it along with a copy of a
certified appraisal in a separate location.
Opals Make Great
Opals represent; purity, innocence, virginity, faith, hope, light, friendship,
integrity, moon, starts, clouds, rain, future, variety, exciting! They
are; distinctive, impressive, unique, unusual, mysterious, and intriguing.
Just a little common
sense in caring for your opal will give you many years of enjoyable wear.
Take a look at 1st
Class Gems' beautiful opal ladies rings!
Read more about understanding gemstone quality, caring for your jewelry, birthstones, and the interpretive meaning of each gemstone.
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