Many people do not know how to really care for their opals resulting in opals that are damaged and drastically reduced in value.
It is very important that one understands how to look after ones opals and keep them in the best condition. This way they will last for years and retain their value.
Firstly of course one should buy quality opals from a good dealer or jeweler. Understanding what is a good opal is most important. It is true that many jewelers do not know much about opals. Going to a jeweler that specializes in opals will help here.
Firstly some dos and don’ts.
You can clean your opal in water but do not use detergents or bleaches. These will ruin a stone as the chemicals can react adversely with the opal and especially with the glue or cement that holds the opal in place. It has happened that an opal has eventually fallen out when the glue has deteriorated and been lost forever.
It is not a good idea to wear an opal if you are gardening or with your hands deep inside a car engine. Although the oil and probably the soil from the garden may not hurt the opal it can easily get scratched, lose its shine and become very dull.
In addition grime and oils can build up around the stone and cause it to look very unsightly. Besides which, if you have a claw setting it is very easy to damage the claws and lose an opal that way as well.
Opals can be re-polished if they get too dull. You can find opal polishers in your city by looking through the yellow pages and there are also many on line. But choose carefully. You would like to see your opal back again when it is done.
Store your opal jewelry when not in use. This will help to keep it in great condition most of all. It is not a good idea to wear opal jewelry all the time. Opals are not as hard as diamonds and can be damaged easily. When storing them, make sure it a cool place. Not under hot lights or near a heater. Opals can crack with too much heat.
It is a good idea to ensure your opals are fully insured. A certificate that establishes the authenticity of your opal and the value and the stone insured for replacement value is a shrewd move.
If you are wearing a opal ring it is a good idea to remove it (and put it somewhere safe such as a purse or pocket, not just on a bench top) when you wash or clean your hands. Rings have been known to slip of fingers especially when rubbed with soap or cream.
Being very sensible and aware when dealing with opals and opal jewelry is the basis of caring for your opals.
Keeping mind the above will go along way to ensure your opals are long lasting and give years of pleasure.