Man-made opal rings are quite beautiful, bearing a close resemblance to natural opal with iridescent rainbow markings. Synthetic opal rings are sometimes made using a man-made glass called Slocum stone, spheres of silica, or mixtures of natural opal chips and colored glass. Unlike natural opal rings, man-made opal rings are made in laboratories and don’t contain water. There is little danger that the man-made opal ring will dry out and crack--a dangerous possibility for natural opal rings. Follow a few basic maintenance steps to care for a man-made opal ring.
Keep man-made opal rings away from direct heat and sunlight, which can damage the materials used to create the synthetic opal.
Avoid exposing the man-made opal ring to chemicals, including jewelry-cleaning fluid. Chemicals can damage or discolor synthetic opal. Instead, use water mixed with vinegar or gentle soap. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to lightly scrub or buff the ring and synthetic opal gemstone. Carefully rinse with water.
Use a soft cloth, such as silk or cotton, to dry the man-made opal ring after cleaning. Or leave your synthetic opal ring out to air dry.
Store the ring in its original case or a soft jewelry pouch, if possible. It is not necessary to store man-made opal rings in oil or glycerin to protect their composition. While this storage method may not damage the synthetic opal, it necessitates extra cleaning.
- Soft-bristle toothbrush
- Silk or cotton cloth
- Jewelry pouch
While natural opal rings sometimes need to be soaked in water to retain natural moisture, this is not necessary for man-made opal rings.
Man-made opal rings may be safely stored in bank vaults. Natural opal rings may not, because dehumidifiers can dry them out and cause cracking.
Natural opal rings must be protected against sudden temperature changes, such as the transition from a heated home to a cold winter day. Man-made opal rings are not subject to cracking when exposed to sudden temperature changes.
Avoid wearing a man-made opal ring in situations where it may receive rough treatment, such as scratching. It may not be possible to remove a scratch from the face of a man-made opal.