Keeping Your Opal Jewelry Looking Its Best

Dear Leslie,
For our anniversary, my boyfriend bought me a matching opal necklace and bracelet. He spent a lot of time picking them out and now I’m really nervous that I won’t take proper care of them. Help!
Bianca in Las Alamos

For basic jewelry protection, always remove your jewelry while doing sports or housework, or any other activity where your jewelry may be scratched or exposed to chemicals. While rings and bracelets are most affected by daily wear, earrings, necklaces and even pendants are subject to chemical damage, especially if worn while make-up, fragrances and hair products are applied.

Always check for loose gems and clasps before wearing your jewelry. To avoid your gems and metal jewelry scratching each other, never store your jewelry in piles. Store them in separate sections of a jewelry box or wrap them separately in velvet, paper or silk.

In regards to cleaning, with opals, I have found that if you wipe them with a soft dry or slightly damp cloth after you wear them they retain their shine. You should never wash or scrub opals as they lose their luster.

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