So you have just spent a significant amount of money on your Opals and now you want to know how to care for opals. Here are some handy tips, broken down by specific Opal types, that will keep your Opal bright for a lifetime.
When set in jewellery the stone should be protected and not protrude out. Opals don’t like to be stored away for years in a safe or exposed to strong sunlight. To clean your opal just use a soft brush or cloth and mild detergent. Don’t clean it in a ultra sound as you can damage the stone. To view your opal at its best indoors the natural light should come over your shoulder. Have your back to a window or door and view your opal.
Opal Doublets and Opal Triplets are not natural opals. They have been treated and glued together. It is not recommended to soak them in water. Triplets can lift after time. These days they use a UV light which glues them together creating a more stable Opal. Clean with a soft cloth with mild detergent.
This is what the GIA in American said about Ethiopian Opal “This is opal from the Welo region of Ethiopia. It is mainly Hydrophane in that it absorbs water and can change colour. To determine if the opal is hydrophane wet your hand and place it on the top of the Opal. If it sticks to your hand it is hydrophane. Stones will change colour when wet but will return back later. Don’t dry them out under strong lights.
Also called brown opal. This material is more prone to crazing but they make stunning specimens with electric neon colours. This material can be stabilized and should be cleaned using warm soapy water only.
American Opal is a type of crystal opal that has a high water content. It is prone to crazing. Some wood replacement opal make great specimens and appear stable. Many of the miners do treat these crystal stones. For long life of these Opals it is recommend to keep these Opals in water.
Mexican Opal needs the same care as Australian opal. Some natural stones have matrix around them which can absorb fluids and discolour the matrix. Clean the stone with a mild detergent.
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