Dating cameo jewelry

At some point, the Italians began to carve cameos from shells, and the town of Torre del Greco is still famous for its superb work.

While cameos never went out of style, they wax and wane in popularity.

Cameos are usually carved in relief; the figure or scene stands out, with the rest of the shell carved away.

An “intaglio” cameo’s image will be a depression carved into the surface – these cameos are much less common.

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, which means “engraved gem.” That’s because the Romans carved their cameos from agate.

And since a cameo is carved from a single material, anything from agate and onyx to shells, that sounds about right.

I’ve always loved these earrings, which were given to me in the early 1960s by an elderly neighbor who was getting ready to move into a retirement home.


Cameos can be a great complement to just about any style.

And vintage or antique cameos add a layer of quality and artistry you just can’t find in the mall jewelry shop!

Your cameo shouldn’t have any chips, cracks or stress marks.

You can usually see them by holding the piece up to the light and examining it with a jeweler’s loupe.

They’re becoming popular again today, and, of course, that means a rise in prices — and fakes!

How can you tell if the cameo you own or want is vintage or antique?


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