Precious Opals Need Moisture to Retain Lasting Beauty

“Opalescence” one of a kind necklace from Empress Couture by Arpaia Fine Jewelry with precious white opal beads & artisan crafted 22kt gold

Precious opal’s play of color defines it’s beauty.

Composed of up to 10% water, opal is a soft gem.

An essential part of loving care for opals is protection. Avoid circumstances and conditions that can cause opal to crack. Even dehydration (loss of moisture) can damage opal and result in “crazing” (tiny visible network of fractures).

Although damage in opal cannot be reversed, it is possible to help Australian and other sedimentary opals replenish moisture by soaking in a distilled water bath for at least 24 hours every 6 months. Keep in mind, however, that while this soaking technique might be suitable for loose opals, it is not always advisable with respect to opal jewelry, and in fact, could be destructive to the metal or other components, or to its construction.

CAVEAT: This post relates to the care of Australian opals and other opals that originate from sedimentary rock. Ethiopian opals originate in volcanic rock and are hydrophane in nature, which property affects transparency when the stone is immersed in water. As a result, to retain their beauty, Ethiopian opals should not be immersed in water or cleaned with water. Contact with oils or other liquids may result in a reduction of play of color to Ethiopian opals and possibly may permanently damage them because of their hydrophane nature. For further information on Ethiopian Opal, see the post on this blog relating to Proper Care for Ethiopian Opal Jewelry.

For more detailed guidelines on the care of opal jewelry, read our Newsletter:

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Platinum Gemstone Earrings by Artisan Jeweler Deirdre Featherstone


Deirdre Featherstone in her design studio
Deirdre Featherstone in her design studio

One of my greatest personal and professional pleasures is discovering phenomenal beauty and stellar craftsmanship in luxury women’s jewelry.

In recognition of my first LOVE LOVE LOVE! blog, I wanted to celebrate artisan jeweler, Deirdre Featherstone, and her exquisite feminine chandelier earrings (my absolute most favorite 2 pairs shown below!).

A mega talent in the jewelry world, Featherstone is at the pinnacle of her career – she has earned some of the most prestigious and coveted jewelry design awards in the industry, as well as being named “Master American Platinumsmith” by Platinum Guild International.

Featherstone’s gorgeous atelier, The Studio, is located in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City (by private appointment only).

Visit Featherstone’s intriguing website to view her current earring and necklace selections, and discover about her passion and design inspirations at:

Deirdre Featherston  2013 AGTA Spectrum Award
Deirdre Featherstone Opal Shangri-La Earrings – 2013 AGTA Spectrum Award “Best Use of Platinum and Color”
Deirdre Featherstone Earrings  2013 AGTA Spectrum Award for
Deirdre Featherstone Platinum, Diamond and South Sea Baroque Pearl Earrings – 2013 AGTA Spectrum Award for “Platinum Honors – Bridal Wear”

Love Your Pearls for Lasting Beauty

One of a kind designed by Kimberly Arpaia - handmade Classic Collection bracelet with natural color cultured freshwater pearls
One of a kind designed by Kimberly Arpaia – handmade Classic Collection bracelet with natural color cultured freshwater pearls

Pearls are organic gems. Though delicate, fine quality pearls can retain their natural beauty for several generations with proper care to become treasured heirlooms. For helpful hints to keep your pearl jewelry looking well loved, read our recent newsletter on Pearl Care: