Taking care of the precious things in our lives – like friendships or our health – ensures they last the tests of time. And Australian opal is no different. In fact, one of the most common questions we are asked is 'how do I look after my opals and opal jewellery?'. To help answer that question, we've developed a handy guide on how to get the most out of this amazing natural gemstone and keep it in a beautiful, pristine condition throughout your lifetime and beyond.
Easy does it with opal cleaning
There's no need for fancy or expensive cleansers with Australian opals. The best and most effective way to keep an opal or opal jewellery clean is to gently wipe them with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent mixed with warm water.
Careful with the H20
Solid Australian opals contain a small amount of water in their chemical makeup, so there’s no problem at all with getting them wet, despite what you might read or hear (Ethiopian opals are another matter). However, if your opal is a composite stone like an opal doublet or opal triplet, try to keep it out of water as best you can. A splash of water here and there is fine, but immersing it for long periods of time is not advisable and can affect the opal. Wearing triplet opal rings as dress rings only is recommended.
Keep your cool with opal
Solid Australian opals might love water but they’re not so hot on heat. So it’s important to keep all opals away from very hot lights and other intense heat sources such as spas, hot tubs and saunas, as extreme temperatures could cause the gemstone to expand and crack after some time.
Chemical free cleaning
Avoid using bleach, chemicals and harsh cleaners including ultrasonic cleaners on your opal or while wearing opal jewellery to help it stay in top shape. We’d also recommend removing your opal jewellery before using pools or spas.
Although not as hard as diamonds, opals are tougher than some might think, being comparable to glass in hardness. However, to prevent damage to your opal it’s still a good idea to make sure that you avoid activity where it could bang against hard surfaces or any unnecessary wear and tear.
We hope by following this simple advice your opals will enjoy a long and happy life – remember, a little TLC goes a long way!