Incredibly unique Opal gemstones

Neil Watson

Opal is an incredibly unique gemstone and should be treated with care, below we will answer some of our most common questions and myths regarding opal jewellery!

Why can’t I wear my opal all the time?

This is something that we get asked a lot in store and to give you the answer we first need to tell you a little bit about opals. Opals are made from hydrated silica, and they can be up to 20% water. That means that if your opal gets too hot or is exposed to intense light (like UV light) the opal can expand and contract, possibly fracturing the stone. Opals are also quite a soft stone, they measure a 5.5-6.5 on the MOHS scale of hardness, so they are about the same as a piece of glass! You only have to look at an old watch or an old glass door to see how glass wears over time!

Ok, so my opal is soft but why can’t I get it wet?

If the piece of opal that you are wearing is a solid opal you can get it wet (although I would advise to keep it away from hot water and chemicals) the problem with getting opal wet is that a lot of pieces on the market are either a doublet or a triplet.

A doublet opal is a slice of solid opal that either has a black backing, normally made of black industrial glass, black potch (also known as colourless opal), hard plastic, brown ironstone or sometime vitrolite. A triplet also has the black backing, but it also has a layer of clear quartz on the top.

The problem with getting a doublet or a triplet wet is that the water can run between the different layers and cannot be removed.

How do I care for my opal jewellery?

Opal is a beautiful gemstone, the kaleidoscope of colours makes every piece unique. We recommend to wipe down your opal jewellery with a warm, damp cloth and it to wear it on any occasion that you would wear your high heeled shoes (not doing the housework or to the gym but when you go out for dinner, or if you work in an environment where your hands are kept safe and dry) We recommend keeping your opal away from heat, strong UV lights and any sorts of chemicals, including alkaline solutions.

View our Opal Collection

 

Tags: Opal