1. Keep Opals Away From Water
Ethiopian Opals are "hydrophane," which means that they absorb water and when they do, their appearance changes. If the Opals come in contact with water, they will soak it up like a sponge. If the Opals are submerged in water and allowed to absorb it, they may lose their fire temporarily and turn yellow or brown. The fire and color should come back once the opals have fully dried. However, this can take a day to a few weeks, depending on how much water they absorbed.
2. Avoid Liquid Chemicals Around Your Ethiopian Opals
Due to the Opal's hydrophane nature, liquids like perfumes, soaps, and cleaning products can stain your opals and change their color. If this occurs, try wiping them with a soft, damp cloth before allowing them to dry, naturally, on their own.
3. Protect Opals From Extreme Changes in Temperature
Ethiopian opals can cope with gradual temperature changes well but do not like extreme temperature changes. So when drying an opal that has managed to soak up water and lose its fire, let it dry naturally. Never try to speed up the process with a hairdryer or other heat source.
4. Avoid Strenuous Activity while Wearing Ethiopian Opals
When wearing opal jewelry, please remember it is actually a relatively soft gemstone. Opals measure 5.5 to 6.5 on Moh's scale of hardness, which puts them below Amethyst (7) and Topaz (8) and above coral (3 to 4). This means that it is best to take off your opal rings and bracelets when playing sports, gardening, cleaning, and any other manual labor as Opal can be scratched by dirt particles, and any hard knocks can cause the Opal to crack.
5. How To Clean Ethiopian Opals
The best cleaning method for Ethiopian Opal Jewellery is to use a clean, soft, dry microfibre cloth to buff away fingerprints, dirt, residue, and oils gently. Never use a steamer or ultrasonic cleaner; the Opal is simply too fragile and may crack.
6. How To Store Your Ethiopian Opals
Keep your Opal jewelry separate from other pieces to minimize accidental contact or scratches to the stones, and store your Opal jewelry in its jewelry box, away from moisture, humidity, and direct sunlight.