Finding Gorgeous Jewelry Pieces

Buying, Cleaning, And Caring For Opal Jewelry

by Barry Graves

If you have always loved the look of opal jewelry but don't have enough knowledge about opals to ensure you make a wise investment, then you will be happy to know that shopping and caring for opals doesn't need to be complicated. Once you understand the basic properties of opals, you will be able to easily spot quality stones and then properly care for your new opal jewelry pieces:

Basic Properties of Opals

Opal is a really interesting type of mineral. Made of the same silica that makes up a kitchen's quartz countertops, opal is a mineral that forms at a lower temperature and with more space between the silica molecules. The result of these spaces is a stone that flashes with rainbows of light when it comes into contact with sunlight.

Opal is a relatively soft mineral and is somewhat porous. When opals are mined out of the ground, they contain water molecules. The opal is dried out by the miner in a slow and methodical process to prevent it from cracking as it loses moisture. 

Since opal is porous and prone to cracking, you must always examine it well before purchase. High-quality opal should not show any lines or signs of early cracks. Additionally, it should have a vibrant flash of color when placed in natural sunlight.

Buying Tips for Opal Jewelry

You should always purchase opal jewelry pieces in person rather than order them online. Viewing opals in person gives you the opportunity to move them around under natural light and check their coloration. When ordering opals online, you run the risk that the seller has used special lights to enhance the coloration inside of the opals. If you have already fallen in love with a piece of opal jewelry offered for sale online, then make sure the seller is reputable and offers a generous return policy in case you are dissatisfied.

Cleaning and Caring for Your New Opal Jewelry

Once you have purchased your new opal jewelry, it is important you know how to clean and care for it. Since opals are porous and tend to absorb water, it is vital you use only a mild soap and water solution to clean them. Choose a soap that does not have any added artificial coloring so it won't change the color of your opals. 

Finally, opal earring backs and posts or wires should be cleaned regularly with isopropyl alcohol to sterilize them. Sterilizing your earrings frequently is necessary to prevent infections.