Cleaning Opal Jewellery
Discover the best and safest way to keep your opal & lab created opal jewellery full of sparkle and shine with our jewellery care guides.
At Argemti, we love opals. There are so many different varieties and colours available with each opal being unique. Taking care of and cleaning your opal jewellery is easy once you know about opals, but before we get into cleaning your opal jewellery it is very important to know which kind of opal you are dealing with. Opals in jewellery can either come as solid opals, doublet opals, triplet opals or lab created opals.
Solid opal is an opal which has only been cut and polished, indicating that the jewellery features a solid piece of opal stone.
Doublet opal is a thin layer of opal, almost shell like which is cemented onto a black backing. These types of opal have 2 layers, hence the name doublet.
Triplet opals are similar to doublet opals but they have a thin transparent layer on top of the opal to give it protection. This layer is usually made out of glass or another transparent precious stone.
Cleaning Solid Opals
Solid natural opals, despite popular theory and perfectly safe to get wet as they only have around 6% water content. When cleaning solid opal jewellery we recommend using Connoisseurs Delicate Jewellery Cleaner as it is specially formulated to be safe for use with opals while also being safe to use with any precious metal that it may be set on. To clean you opal jewellery using Connoisseurs Delicate Jewellery Cleaner follow these steps:
- Unscrew the lid and remove the seal.
- Place one piece of jewellery into the dip tray.
- Submerge the jewellery in the solution and let it soak for no longer than 10 seconds.
- Remove the dip tray and rinse the jewellery under room temperature water to remove residue
- Use a soft brush to clean any hard to reach areas
- Gently dab the jewellery dry using a soft, lint free cloth
- Give your jewellery a polish using a polishing cloth to bring out its shine. (Connoisseurs Ultrasoft Gold or Silver Polishing Cloths are ideal as they leave an anti tarnish layer)
If you do not have access to this product then it is perfectly fine to use room temperature water with a tiny amount of mild washing up liquid instead of the delicate jewellery cleaner solution. It is important though to avoid any rapid temperature changes with opals though as they might crack and get damaged.
If your opal jewellery is not set with prongs then it may be set with a glue. If this is the case then we recommend just wetting a cloth with the jewellery cleaner solution or water and cleaning your jewellery this way instead of submerging it in the solution.
Cleaning Doublet & Triplet Opal Jewellery
Doublet & Triplet opals require a touch more care than it does a solid opal. Prolonged exposure to water may mean water getting in between the layers and ruining its look. To clean you doublet & triplet opal jewellery we recommend wetting a cloth with the delicate jewellery cleaner and gently wiping the jewellery clean. Another method is using Connoisseurs Jewellery Wipes to just gently wipe your jewellery clean.
- Remove 1 dry wipe from the case.
- Rub your jewellery gently with the wipe to remove dirt and tarnish
- You may get some residue on your fingers and jewellery if you rub for too long, this is not dirt and can be removed with a damp soft cloth. Wash hands with soap and water.
- These wipes will not dry out, they can be reused until they are no longer effective.
Cleaning Lab Created Opal Jewellery
Lab created opals have the same structure, chemical and physical properties as natural opals as they are grown in a similar process to in nature, just in a lab. They largely can be treated and cleaned in the same way as natural opals. Lab created opal jewellery can also use doublets and triplets so it is important to keep an eye on the structure of your lab created opals in the jewellery to see which type of opal is used in the piece before cleaning.
Stay Away From:
PLEASE NEVER USE BLEACH OR HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS ON YOUR OPAL JEWELLERY. These types of cleaners are a surefire way to ruin your jewellery in no time and should be avoided at all costs.
Toothpaste is another novel cleaning method we recommend staying clear of as the chemicals inside can strip away the metals of your jewellery over time and leave it looking dull.
It is not recommended to use any kind of ultra sonic cleaner on your opal jewellery as the heat and chemicals may have a negative effect on them over time.