Caring For An Opal

by Nili
(Israel)

Solid Black Opal from Lightning Ridge

Solid Black Opal from Lightning Ridge

Hello,
I would like to know about caring for opal.

Does it change if it's already set from an opal that's not set?

Is their a difference from an already cabbed opal and a out of the ground opal? (rough opal)

Also you hear things like " put in water ", " don't put in water " , "no oils or stuff with oil with it " - most just say that moisture is sucked up by the opal and may cause it to either show off more colors or it may crack the opal itself.

Thank you in advance
Nili


Our Answer:

Hi Nili,
       
 Well, opal from other parts of the World have their own individual characteristics but with our Australian solid opal and in particular Lightning Ridge opal like the piece which you now own, it is very stable and dense.

You can't really do much to harm it but for a guideline, moisture won't get sucked into it and crack the opal as opal contains it's own moisture content.
    
Usually if opal is in the rough state, then it's sometimes kept in water for safekeeping until it's ready to cut and polish but it's not necessary if it's good quality opal.

Once an opal has been cut and polished though, it does serve to " seal " the stone and maintains against anything entering the microscopic pores of the opal.

Industrial oils are better being kept away from opal as a precaution but again, they won't do any harm to good opal in the short term.

Natural oils from your hand definitely won't do anything to your opal and to clean your stone, simply wipe it with a damp sponge using clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. Doesn't matter if the opal is set or not.

It won't make any difference to Australian solid opal with regards to water and with regarding the colour, the colour that it already is will be the colour it will stay and putting it into water will make no difference whatsoever to it's colour play, nor will it crack either.

     Kind regards,
     Peter

Care of your Opal Jewelry


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