While opals appear strong, they require special care to keep them from cracking or losing their innate lustrous rainbowlike color.
- Opals always contain water – about 6 to 10 % of it. If stored too dry or exposed to heat over a longer period of time, opals will show fissures and the play of color will become paler.
Therefore, opal jewelry should be worn as often as possible, for then the gemstone will receive the needed humidity from the air and from the skin of its wearer.
Furthermore, the oils in the skin can help keep the stone lustrous.
- You can clean the stone by rubbing it with a piece of cotton soaked in room temperature water and allowing it to air dry.
- Store the opal in a jewelry box or covered dry place that is kept at a constant room temperature. Sudden changes in temperature can irritate the stone and cause it to crack.
- Keep opal jewelry and raw opals away from hot water, dish soap or any type of detergent. Exposing opals to these harsh conditions will compromise the strength and beauty of the piece.
Thanks to: ehow.com, International Colored Gemstone Association for this information.