WHAT NOT TO DO WHILE WEARING OPAL JEWELRY
Basic preventative care
Ethiopian Welo Opal is a delicate unique and entirely different from others gemstone, which requires very special preventive care, which is outlined in this article
1. OPALS AND WATER
Welo Opal has a special relationship with water and any liquid due to its hydrophane nature, which means, that it not only contains some 3-30% water in its mineral composition but also can ABSORB water and other liquids when coming in contact with it.
It is strongly recommended that you do not experiment by immersing these opals in water or other liquids or oils ( this includes washing hands or taking a shower with your opal jewelry on) since contamination can occur, leaving residues within the opal.
Contact with liquid and even human sweat ( in case you have active lifestyle ) can eventually change the original body color or the way light is transmitted by the stone, which in turn may affect the color play or brilliance.
Immersing hydrophane opal underwater may, in many cases, cause stress from uneven expansion, which can create a crack similar to those caused by sudden shock and cause it to fall out of its setting and break.
If your opal jewelry was accidentally exposed to water for long time do not try and speed up the natural drying process by placing in an oven, under a hot light or hair dryer! The time period for dehydrating can be minutes to more than a week and will vary depending on stone body type, size and environmental conditions.
Never use a steamer or ultrasonic, keep away from harsh cleaning agents, perfume, hand soap, high temperatures or sudden temperature changes; simply wipe with a clean soft cloth.
*As I have mentioned above the Ethiopian Welo Opal has a very complicated relationship with H2O, which is also a necessary component required for keeping its internal composition unchanged, which includes preventing the Opal from dehydration in hot dry climate zones.
It is recommended to wipe your opal jewelry with a wet cloth once in a while to make sure the opal doesn't lose too much water content and becomes very brittle and fragile. Exposure to small amounts of water under controlled temperature can be beneficial to preserve the opal's inner strength.
2. SUDDEN TEMPERATURE CHANGES:
Chances of damaging your opal if it is permanently set into a jewelry setting increase if it is exposed to cold and hot temperatures by suddenly and rapidly changing its outside environment. ( Getting out of the car to some place warm (office, restaurant) is fine, but watching the Ball Drop in NYC to celebrate New Year's Eve will destroy your opal as will shoveling snow before getting inside your car or walking your dog in the subzero temperature with the opals still on)
*The water content in the opal may freeze and crystallize causing micro cracks to form inside the stone simultaneously increasing the stone volume, which will result in the opal cracking under pressure, and weakening of its internal structure. The damage is not always instantaneously apparent and might take weeks or months to become visible, but by then it is too late to do anything about it.
And it is most definitely not the fault of the jeweler, or inferior quality of the opal that your jewelry breaks so unexpectedly soon.
3. PHYSICAL DAMAGE
And finally avoid dropping the jewelry on any hard surface, hitting it against any solid object such as glass windows, car doors, railings and other things, which would break it. Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the stone itself or the jewelry piece by sleeping on it, doing any strenuous activity including exercise, long distance travel, house cleaning, gardening, etc.,
Reserve your opal jewelry for special memorable events and occasions, admire them without losing their brilliance and the feeling of wearing something truly unique and special.
Remember that you are wearing a piece of FINE JEWELRY, which has a unique, fragile and absolutely DIFFERENT qualities compared to other gems out there. The Opal jewelry is meant to be worn for special occasions only to show off its beauty and brilliance with amazing unfazed colors.
Your opal jewelry was created especially for you to last you a lifetime and just like you it deserves attention care and LOVE....
*Varies from region to region: requires additional research
*Depends on the actual temperature and the time of the exposure