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As opals contain around 6 to 10% of water they really do not appreciate being exposed to extreme weather conditions (very hot and dry surroundings).
Some opal jewelers recommend occasional cleaning of your opal jewelry with a cloth soaked in olive oil. In their opinion this procedure should refresh your opal gemstones and give them some extra moisture and shine.
Considering the conditions under which opals were formed and survived for over millions of years (dry and hot underground ) other opal jewelers and experts have a completely different opinion regarding this issue. According to them, opals are much tougher gemstones than they appear to be and using olive oil (or in fact any other oil based substance or solution) is completely unnecessary and it might even cause some damage to your precious opal stones.
However, when it comes to taking a good care of opals and opal jewelry most of the jewelers would agree that following is crucial for keeping your gems up to scratch for many, many years:
1. From time to time clean your opal jewelry in a solution of warm water and very mild detergent using a very soft brush or a cloth.
2. Do not wear your opal jewelry together with some other pieces of jewelry that might come in contact or rub against each other.
3. Avoid impacts of any kind.
4. Take your opal jewelry off while doing any jobs around the house.
5. Keep your opals in separate jewelry boxes, always with some sort of soft material around them.
6. If your opals are doublets or triplets do not keep them under water for long periods of time (wearing them in the bath or shower).
7. Do not expose your opals to sudden and extreme changes in temperature.
If you somehow manage to scratch your beloved opal do not panic. In most cases your local jeweler should be able to repolish your stone and make it to appear “as new” in no time.
Taking Care of Opal Jewelry