How to care for your Opals.
Solid Opals -
Opal is a glass silica and as such is considered a soft stone. It has the approximate hardness of glass and can be scratched or broken if care is not taken. Remove your opal jewellery before doing any gardening, housework or anything that will scratch or chip the stone. It can be worn everyday and isn't fragile but as with any precious stone needs to be treated with care.
Solid Opals contain about 5% water and can get wet. Water won't harm a solid opal in any way.
Avoid extremes in temperatures (ie boiling water) and very low humidity (such as bank vaults).
Opals love being worn and will absorb moisture out of the environment to keep them healthy.
Doublets and Triplets -
Doublets and Triplets do need to kept dry as the opal is layered and the layers are glued together. If a doublet or triplet becomes wet it will take on a foggy/hazy grey appearance. Prolonged exposure to water will do this, not just getting caught in a rainstorm, etc.
Cleaning Opals -
Solid opals can be cleaned with a mild detergent and warm water mixture and a soft cloth.
Doublets /Triplets can be cleaned with a just damp soft cloth but never soak a doublet/triplet.
Opals are best stored in a padded box or bag for protection from scratching/breaking.
For long periods of time a piece of cotton wool with a few drops of water added with the opal in a sealed plastic bag will ensure it won't crack.