These instructions are meant for Pearls, Opals, and other soft or delicate stones. This is meant as a guide, but it is always good to err on the side of caution if you have a stone you are unfamiliar with to investigate its properties and care guidelines first.
After every use, gently wipe down each pearl with a soft cloth (ex. microfiber, jeweler’s or eyeglass cleaning cloth) that has been dipped or dampened by a small amount of water (no cleaners) before you put them away. Never use brushes or sponges as they will scratch and permanently damage the pearls. Every 5th-7th time you wear them, use warm, ever-so-slightly soapy water, using the mildest soap you can find. wipe each one again with a slightly dampened cloth with just water to remove the soap residue. To clean any metal parts, follow the instructions for that particular metal, but use a soft cloth, or preferably a Q-tip (much better and safer) to ensure that the cleaners do not touch the pearl. Also, if you have pearls that are strung, and you need to replace a clasp, usually the whole piece will be restrung to ensure strength and durability. It is a good idea to get them restrung periodically, especially if you notice any fraying, loosening or darkening of the knots between the pearls. These knots protect the pearls from bumping and scratching each other and to prevent losing a whole strand of pearls if they get caught and snap.
Solid opal can be cleaned with a soft cloth (ex. microfiber), slightly dampened with mildly soapy warm water, using the mildest soap available, then wiped with a cloth dampened with clean water. Avoid soaking your opals as some types have multiple layers or backings that can come apart. Never use chemicals or cleaners on it. To clean any metal parts, follow the instructions for that particular metal, but use a soft cloth, or preferably a Q-tip (much better and safer) to ensure that the cleaners do not touch the opal.
When in Doubt:
When in doubt, always try to research your stone from reputable sources. For example, many businesses and companies that specialize in particular stones will have “How to Care and Clean Your ___” sections on their websites. If you do not have time or the resources for this, a barely dampened microfiber cloth followed by a dry one is a good fail-safe.