If you are considering having a custom piece made, and wish for the most secure setting, you want to be careful that you approach an experienced jeweler. Opals are soft and if hit, can break easily, so jewelers must be cognizant about how to mount them, and what to mount them in.
There are many ways of setting a gem, but the most secure way is to bezel set them, which is of course the most difficult. Bezel setting involves hammering a lip of gold (or other chosen metal) over the edge and all the way around the gem, completely encasing the edge of the stone for safety, as seen in the above pictured Black Australian Opal Ring, or the earrings at the end of this post. The beauty of this method is that it secures and protects the stone all the way around.
If not careful, when hitting it with the hammer the jeweler could break it into a million pieces. We are proud to say that in 54 years of business, we have not broken a single opal!
We have a plethora of opal varieties in stock, just waiting to be made into something special. The below video features just one oval-shaped size in our collection.
If your Opal jewelry seems to have lost its luster, you may wonder if you can clean it and how. Warm soapy water and a very gentle cloth or soft brush is all that is needed to clean your opal jewelry.
For Opal doublets, or triplets, just gently wipe the piece down with a soft cloth soaked with warm soapy water.
For a whole opal piece, swishing it inside the warm water will clean the dust and debris, but never do this with opals with drill holes, or for doublet or triplet opals, as the water may creep into the fusion and split the layers.
If you are unsure which you have, play it safe and use a cloth as first described!
Overall, our best advice is:
- Use the softest material for wiping and drying, as opals are susceptible to scratches.
- Do not use any chemical cleaners on the opal.
- Never use a jeweler’s ultrasonic machine, as the vibrations could crack the stone.
- Avoid wearing your opal jewelry while doing chores, or other activity where they might be knocked against something.
- Avoid drastic changes of temperature. If for example you live in extreme northern climates, where temps drop below freezing, best to save your opals for the more neutral months.
Follow these few guidelines and you will enjoy your opals for a long time!