The technique of hand carving cameos is an artform that goes back hundreds of years. These beauties were once used for a number of purposes from recording history and heroes to displaying ones social and/or cultural status. Today, Naples, Italy specializes in this workmanship, carving countless cameos that are sent all around the world.
Carved from several types of material in an array of colors, most pieces can be worn as a necklace or brooch, making for a well-rounded piece of jewelry. In my opinon, there is something particularly special about cameos. Not only do they carry an everchanging story throughout the world’s history but they have versitilty in wear and style. I myself have one that I usually style as a vintage piece of jewelry but it can just as easily be worn as the traditional, elegant piece it is.
Typically, cameos are carved from a few different types of shell:
Carnelian Shell – This is the most commonly used shell usually light peach or orange in color and also my personal favorite
Sardoynx Shell – Resembling marble, this shell has a thicker outter layer and a dark brown interior
Mother of Pearl – Once carved this material creates a blue, gray translucent color
Agate – Slightly different from the rest, agate is a stone found in various types of rock that’s generally blue or green
Just take a look for youself! You can literally find just about anything carved into these works of art now a days, from The David to your pet cat, Whiskers.