Opals – A Luxury Gemstone
The beautiful effects of opal rings are its rainbow like opalescence. White precious opals have a beautiful play of color and are most well-known. Their color can go from pale cloudy yellow to transparent at its top quality. Precious black opals are black, dark gray-black, dark blue, dark green and gray black which are rarer than white opals. Boulder opals occur as pebble rock which means the rock is the host to the opal. One of the most precious opals is the Harlequin opal which is transparent or translucent. These opals are considered the most desirable. Jelly opals are bluish-gray and crystal opals show red flecks on a colorless surface. Mexican Fire opals are red in color and most opals come from Australia. Many opals look best when accented with diamonds. Opals contain between 3% - 20% water. Over a long period of time these luxury stones may lose water which will diminish its opalescence. This can be restored with a saturation of oil or water. Opals play of color can be restored when stored in a moist absorbent cotton wool. When setting opals care, must be taken. Their Moh’s scale of hardness is 5 ½ - 6 1/2 out of 10 and opals are considered brittle. They are thought of as luxury stones because they are sensitive to pressure or knocks and must be handled with care. When considering the care of an opal, there are certain things to think about. You must not use any detergent or ultrasonic cleaning device. Avoid steam. A change in temperature from hot to cold such as going from a boiling pot of water to the freezer will shatter an opal. As mentioned before, keep your opal stored in a moist absorbent cotton wool for its safety and for its beautiful continued play of color.