Opal Care 101: Never store your opals in a safety deposit box! Opals are composed of 3-7% water. If they are left in a dry environment, they will dehydrate and crack, which we call "crazing".
The opal pictured to the left was stored in a safety deposit box for many years. It was once in the ring owned by Alana's grandmother (seen here).
When it was recently taken out of its original setting and set into the custom engagement ring (Right) featured in the blog post "EMERGENCY ENGAGEMENT RING", years in the dry safety deposit box caused the opal to crack.
We were able to repair the opal and repolish the surface, however the dehyration could not be reversed. After only a few months on Alana's finger, the opal cracked again along a line of crazing and shattered (Left--eek!!).
Not to fear! We sourced a replacement opal that is fiery and beautiful. It was custom cut to fill the space in her engagement ring (see below).
While it is not her grandmother's opal, with proper care, her new opal is going to last for generations to come. And all is not lost of Alana's grandmother's opal...
We were able to salvage two small pieces of the original opal and recut them into small, matching cabochons. To celebrate her engagement and show her love and appreciation for her fiancé, Anthony, Alana and I designed a pair of cufflinks for him using the cabochons and her engagement ring's silhouette as inspiration.
Waste is a concept that just does not fit with priceless, sentimental heirlooms!
I am thrilled we were able to repurpose pieces of her grandmother's opal and retain their beauty in pieces that celebrate the love she and Anthony share. In the future, I am sure Alana and Anthony will be sure to store their opals away from heat and in an environment with plenty of moisture to prevent the crazy crazing we saw here!