Rehydrate floating opal?

help how to rehydrate floating opal after being in storage for 15
years? thanks ingrid sierra

In storage in water? or out of water? I suspect the latter?? Also,
what is floating opal? If it is what is usually considered opal, it
should rehydrate after a few days in water. Margaret
@Margaret_Malm2, in Utah’s colorful Dixie

Hi Ingrid,

The way to approach this depends on the medium in which the Opal
chips were previously suspended. As I recall, they were usually in
either glycerine or mineral oil, though sometimes water or isopropyl
alcohol. If you haven’t already removed the cap on the vial the
chips are in, you might try using a paint stripper or epoxy solvent,
like “Attack” (but do it outside; the fumes from this stuff are
dangerous!). Once the cap is off, I’d add either the glycerine or
the mineral oil, since either one will provide you with the
magnification and buoyancy you’re seeking, and will be less likely
to evaporate than either water or alcohol will.

Best of luck to you,

Douglas Turet, GJ
Turet Design
P.O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476
Tel. (617) 325-5328
eFax (928) 222-0815

“Floating opal” is a term applied to chips of opal suspended in
glycerine, usually contained in a small (~1/2") glass sphere.

If you can get the container open without damaging it, you want to
replace the missing liquid with new glycerine. I was recently able to
order some through the pharmacist at a local Walgreens pharmacy.
They don’t stock it, but can get it on request.

Glycerine is also great for wax work. You can apply glycerine to a
stone or crystal, then dip it in hot wax or apply hot wax to it, and
the wax won’t stick to the stone. You can also apply glycerine to a
piece of flat glass to prevent wax from adhering.

All the best,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)