|Naturally, opals make wonderful jewelry. But it is essential that you know some simple safety tips that will save you a lot of trouble down the road.First of all, remember that opal is very sensitive to heat and lack of moisture in the air. Excessive heat and lack of humidity cause the opal to lose water content and lead to cracking and/or crazing. An example would be a safety deposit box. Safety deposit box safes are kept at 1/2 to 1 percent humidity! To be safe (no pun intended), place your opal along with a damp paper towel in a sealed plastic bag. This will prevent the lack of humidity effecting the opal.
Another safety tipis to remember that opal and glass share roughly the same hardness … meaning that opal just isn’t that hard. Don’t put your opal in with other stones or metal in your jewelry box. Make sure that your opal is well padded. And gardening, doing the dishes, or anything that may expose the opal to danger are definite no-no’s.
If you’re planning on mounting the opal yourself, remember that those metal tangs that hold the opal can, if mishandled, actually harm the opal. So be careful!
Here are some examples of the wonderful jewelry that can be created with opals. Rings, necklaces, pendants … opals are wonderfully flexible gems when it comes to display in jewelry. And they can be carved or faceted … even thin pieces can be used to create composite stones.