Did you know that approximately 95 percent of the world's precious opal comes from the land down under? As a consequence, it is also regarded as the national gemstone of Australia.
This is especially interesting because, according to historians, the word opal owes its origins all the way to Rome! That's right, the word is said to have originated from the Roman word opalus, which loosely translates to the phrase precious stone.
Well, if there's one thing we know, it's that your handmade opal rings are truly special objects that deserve that extra care to help them maintain their distinctive sheen and beauty.
This article delves right into the various dos and don'ts of maintaining and caring for your opal rings so that you can bask in their opulence for years to come!
Let's get straight to it!
Do Take the Time to Learn More About Your Precious Gemstone
It is well worth investing a wee bit of your time into learning about the properties and characteristics of opal. The better you understand this wonderful gem, the better you will be able to care for it.
As an owner of an opal ring, here are just a few properties you ought to be aware of:
- Opals consist of silica and between 5 to 20 percent of water
- Opals are fairly porous and soft in comparison to gemstones like quartz, sapphire, diamonds, and rubies
- Opals fall at around the 5.5 mark on the Mohs Hardness Scale
Now that you're well versed in the basics of opals, it's time to see how these properties impact the way you ought to treat them on a day-to-day basis.
Do Put in the Effort to Clean Your Handmade Opal Ring the Right Way
Opal rings should be cleaned with a damp cloth. You can do this every other month.
First, you start off by getting yourself a cup or bowl. Fill around half the bowl with lukewarm (aim for 68 to 72 °F) water. You may add a few drops of mild liquid soap and mix it with the water.
DO NOT Submerge your ring into the bowl. You can also use an extremely gentle toothbrush dipped In the water to remove any gunk from your ring. However, do take care not to rub the opal while it is still submerged in the soapy water. Also, make sure to never use your nails against the opal to prevent scratches.
Don't Expose Your Opal Ring to Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures and dry climates can cause your opal to crack. Additionally, rapid fluctuations in temperature can also cause the phenomenon of crazing. Crazing happens when the water inside your opal begins to move within and leads to deformation.
Do Make Sure to Store Your Ring in a Safe Place
Make sure to take off your opal ring immediately after use and store it separately from your other custom jewelry. You have to do this because opal is a relatively soft gemstone that is susceptible to everyday wear and tear. You do not want it coming in contact with other hard substances or abrasive materials as these could be extremely damaging.
Now to store your ring the right way, you need a bit of soft material and moisture. You can wrap up your ring in a padded cloth bag or a piece of cotton wool, dampen the material with a few drops of water and seal it within a plastic bag.
The plastic bag will prevent the moisture from escaping while your ring is not in use. Don't forget that opal naturally consists of water, and when exposed to dry or hot climates, it might lose some of its water content.
Store your ring safely in a cool, dark place.
Don't Ignore Scratches
Over time, your gemstone may begin to lose its sheen or develop a few scratches. Don't worry. Simply take your ring to an opal cutter to get it professionally polished.
Do Wear Your Ring Selectively
That gorgeous 14k opal ring is a beautiful accessory for special occasions. However, you may want to avoid wearing them every day, especially if your daily tasks include a lot of rough work, exposure to water, extreme temperatures, and harsh chemicals.
Being one of the softer gemstones, opals are vulnerable to scratches, cracks, and damage. Avoid wearing your ring while you are sleeping, sweating, showering or swimming. Please remove your ring when engaged in any kind of intense activity to keep it safe.
Don't Let Your Gemstone Come in Contact With Alcohol and Acids
Opal is a porous gem that, when exposed to substances like alcohol and acids, acts like a sponge. This absorption of harsh substances can cause discoloration and dullness, especially when the duration of contact is longer.
If you do accidentally spill alcohol on your handmade opal ring, make sure to wipe it clean immediately. For the most part, prevention is far better than cure, so be wary of what you expose your ring to.
Care for Your Ring the Right Way
Handmade opal rings are fairly easy to care for. All you need to do is store them safely while they are not in use, clean them regularly and wear them selectively.
Now that you're familiar with the various dos and don'ts of opal care, you're more than ready to add to your collection! Whether it's sapphire you have on your mind or emerald and opal jewelry, we have something for you. Have a gander at our beautiful collection of gemstones, and find exquisite handmade jewelry that matches your style.