Hand-Carved Cameos and Cameo Jewelry are
One-of-a-Kind Treasures

Cameos have survived every whim of jewelry fashion since the Hellenic Age. Royalty, because of their wealth, have throughout history set the tone for jewelry fashion. Always a favorite with Queens, cameos have enjoyed a special place in the history of jewelry.

cornelian shell cameo-jewelry pendant
Egypt's Cleopatra had cameos with her image carved out of precious gems such as emeralds. Queen Elizabeth had, during the late 16th century, her portrait cut into semi-precious stones and turquoise. And, of course, cameos were a favorite of Britain's Queen Victoria.


Mother-of-Pearl Cameo Pendant Jewelry

There is perhaps no more feminine and classic gift of jewelry than a cameo. However, not all cameos are created equal and the materials and methods used can be confusing for anyone trying to find the right one.

The quality--and therefore the value--of a cameo is determined mainly by three things.

What is it made of?
How was it made?
Who made it?

Cameos can be made from a variety of materials including shell, precious and semi-precious gemstones, agate. The variety of materials used to make a carving is amazingly large.

Two different styles of carving--relief and intaglio--are used to produce cameos.

Two different areas--considered to be the cameo carving centers of the world--produce the overwhelming majority of jewelry-quality cameos produced today. Each cameo-carving center features their own carving houses with master carvers who train years before they are able to produce quality cameos.

Sardonyx Shell Cameo Pendant Jewelry


Cameos become a treasured possession and a family heirloom. They are cherished because of the skill it takes to produce one and because of the details that make a cameo a fitting centerpiece for jewelry.


Use these convenient reference pages to learn about the rich history of cameos, what to look for when purchasing cameo jewelry and how to care for you cameos.


The Art of Cameo Carving
The History of Cameos
Taking Care of Your Cameo Jewelry