You found the perfect opal piece to add to your growing accessories collection - now what? Since opals are precious and special gems, you'll want to know the best way to care for your new prized possession to keep its lifespan as long and healthy as possible. We like to think that opals, just like us, could use a little bit of self care to keep us going. Now, this doesn't mean you'll need to share your favorite organic face mask with your new opal studs, but here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your opals pristine. Don't worry, it's easy!
Natural or Stimulated?
Before you can learn how to care for your opals, you must know what kind of opal you're working with. For this purpose, let's think of opals in 2 different categories: stimulated and natural.
Stimulated opals are sometimes known as lab-created opals. The mineral composition of stimulated opals is created through a process similar to what nature does beneath the earth, but in a lab. Most of the opals in our Vermeil collection are stimulated opals.
Natural opals speak for themselves - they're created beneath the earth over millions of years. All of the opals in our Fine collection are natural.
Caring For Natural Opals
Natural opals are known to absorb moisture, and even the energy, of its environment. If that isn't a good enough reason to surround yourself with positive energy for this new year, I'm not sure what is! For this reason, you want to keep your natural opals away from harsh chemicals such as perfumed lotions, cleaning products, etc.
Because of chemicals in soaps and chlorine, it's best to remove your special pieces of jewelry when showering, swimming, doing the dishes, or any other activities where you may get your hands, or opals, dirty.
Opals also don't like drastic changes in temperature, which is why it's best to keep them away from hairdryers or saunas, below freezing temps or while laying out in the sun.
Incase you didn't avoid
Don't worry! To clean, simply rinse with lukewarm water and a light soap - it's as easy as that. If you want to go the extra mile, you can periodically store your natural opals overnight in a sealed plastic bag with a damp cloth. This will keep the gemstone hydrated and able to absorb moisture.
Caring For Stimulated Opals
Stimulated opals won't absorb moisture or energy in the same way that natural opals will. Though they may require a little less self care, they are still just as fragile when it comes to their environment and exposure.
Just like with natural opals, it's best to remove your stimulated opals when showering, swimming, doing the dishes, etc. Stimulated opals don't like chemicals either, and we don't blame them.
Lab-created opals are less sensitive to changes in temperature, so you can be a little more lax about avoiding hairdryers and saunas with these stimulated gems.
Incase you didn't avoid
Again, don't worry! To clean, you can use water mixed with vinegar or gentle soap. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to lightly buff the stimulated opal. Carefully rinse with lukewarm water.
We love opals as much as the next person does (okay, we love them a bit more). Whether natural or stimulated, opals are delicate, feminine, and oh so special. Though they have a stigma of being fragile, opals are actually tougher than glass. Now that you know how to care for them, let's add to that growing collection!