There is no denying that cameo jewelry is a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Cameo jewelry is fascinating and has so much detail you will find yourself lost in the details. Some designs include crazy hair, village scenes, couples embracing, and pearl strands displayed against masterly carved ample bosoms.
The value of some of the rarest and most intricately carved cameos are valued as much as $10,000.
A cameo is a small scene or figure made by a process called relief carving. Relief carving is a process where the sculpted image is raised above the background plane. The “field” or surface of materials like stone, wood, or rock is lower than the unsculpted area which appears to be higher.
The word relief is an Italian word meaning to engrave. In ancient times it is thought to have come from the Arabic word “khamea” meaning “amulet”. It was believed that cameos had a mystic capacity to bring good health and fortune.
Cameo pendants, cameo necklaces, and cameo brooches date back to 15,000 BC. Ancient Egyptian civilizations carved figures into rocks to record events.
In the 16th century, cameos were made from stone. Onyx, agate, cornelian, sardonyx, coral, lava, and jet were all used to create detailed beauties. Craftsmen then started using shells from the seacoast of Italy so the cameos didn’t cost as much. The cameos were part of rings, earrings, bracelets, brooches, and necklaces.
Cameos became popular because they were small, unique, and easy to transport as gifts. Italian cameo artists opened shops in England, France, and America and would carve cameos based on the purchaser’s request and also in ancient styles.
Benedetto Pistrucci Famous Relief Carver
Benedetto Pistrucci was born in Rome in 1783. He grew up during the time Neopolan invaded Italy and his parents, and brother, and he fled to Frosinone where he and his brother attended an academic school. His brother and Benedetto began working for a painter and Benedetto quickly showed artistic talents. The painter, Mango, had a brother who was a cameo carver, Benedetto began studying under the painter’s brother. Benedetto was so talented that the painter’s brother began selling Benedetto’s carvings as counterfeit antiques.
In a heated argument, Benedetto was stabbed and had to heal at home, providing an opportunity to begin learning wax carving on his own. His talents landed him a job as a gem engraver under Nicola Morelli. He worked for Napoleon’s sister for a few years and was commissioned to carve a cameo in red jasper of King George III. He did such an exquisite to make models of the King’s head to use in coinage. He worked for the Royal Mint at the time.
His career vastly grew and he carved the battle of St. George and the dragon, the Waterloo Metal that took him thirty years to complete. He died in 1855.
Characteristics of a Genuine Cameo
A cameo is a relief carving done on a natural substance.
The carving will incorporate the different layers of the stone, rock, or shell.
The carving is always done by hand.
The cameo is the work that is done.
The Cornelian Helmet and the Cassis Madagascariensis also known as the Sardonic Helmet are the most suitable shells used for carving a cameo.
There are two major styles of engraving. The intaglio where the carving is done below or into the surface of the natural substance or relief where the design is carved and projects outwards from the background.
Cameos were commissioned by kings, emperors, and collectors.
Cameos reveal the manners, customs, philosophies, historic events, and social occasions of the period they were carved.
Ancient cameos made a statement.
Cameos served as an amulet, talisman, or storyboard about ethics and morals, affirmations of faith, and a reflection of destiny.
Left-facing cameos are rare.
A cameo mantra “The Nose Knows”
The shape and size of the carving’s nose tell the time period it was produced, reflecting the fashion at the time.
The art of cameo carving is thought to have originated in ancient Greece and ancient Rome.
Through the ages, the centers of cameo cutting remained in Italy.
Today’s cameo artists and designers still reside in Italy.
The sister to a cameo is called an Intaglio or inverse of the cameo.
Shop for Multiple Cameo Pieces
Cameo earrings, cameo brooches, cameo necklaces, and cameo pendants can all be created from the same piece of stone or agate, giving the package a unified appearance. Multiple pieces are great gifts.
Museum cameos necklaces and other pieces are portraits of famous figures from history and have signed portraits with them.
Portrait cameos are individually hand-carved by an artist from photos into gemstones.
Art cameos in gemstones are carved with scenes from mythology, figures from history or wildlife carvings.
Antique cameos are valuable and may have other gemstones or diamonds.
Commesso cameos are rare, made of gold, enamel, and gemstones and joined to make the cameo.
Opal cameos are made from opal and are rare and valuable.
Complex inlay cameos are made by combining different gemstones.
Sardonyx cameos are made by the artist on the sardonyx shell.
Cornelian cameos are not made on Cornelian shells but made in Italy for tourists.
Ultrasonic agate cameos are machine-made.
Turquoise cameos are made from turquoise, carol, lava, or glass.
Plastic and resin cameos are made from molds and out of plastic and resin that is dyed.
Why Not Shop For An Antique 14kt Gold and Diamond Cameo
Cameos are delicate a beautiful and the mystical powers of good health and wealth can only be complemented by adding diamonds.
Diamonds come in different colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be added to any of the gemstones available today and be included with a cameo necklace.
Let’s Talk about How to Choose a Diamond As An Inspiration or One of The Gifts To Yourself
Diamonds are evaluated by the 4Cs; Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight.
First, Diamond Color
Diamond color is actually the lack of color. A diamond with no color is valued higher than a diamond that has color. A clear diamond is as clear as a water drop. Diamonds are evaluated on a scale from D to Z. The D-rated diamond is clear whereas the Z-rated diamond has color. the rating is derived from an expert comparing the diamond to “master stones” to determine the absence of color.
Second, Diamond Clarity
Diamond clarity means that there is no substance, spots, or other structures inside the diamond. These are known as inclusions. Blemishes are on the outside of the diamond. The different inclusions and blemishes can affect the sparkle of the diamond. If you search for a diamond and cameo necklace that has beautiful clear diamonds you may have to think about the style of the necklace because often cameos are accented with melee diamonds and the clarity isn’t apparent to an untrained eye.
The purer a diamond is the better the Clarity.
Third, Diamond Cuts
Diamond cuts add to or take away from the diamond’s ability to transmit light and sparkle. Diamonds come in round, heart-shaped, oval, marquise, and pear shapes. A skilled gem cutter will know exactly how to cut a diamond so it interacts with the light to enhance its beauty and value.
Fourth, Carat Weight
Carat weight is given within a hundredth decimal place. Large diamonds are rare and more valuable.
Shopping for the perfect Cameo – Diamond – Gold Necklace to Add to A Collection
Cameo jewelry is available online and at different brick-and-mortar jewelry stores. Search online for various listings that are available. Typing in the name of the cameo type or style you are looking for will help you view the options and make a decision. Don’t forget to look for inventory at pawn shops.
Why Shop For A Piece of Diamond, Gold, Silver, or Cameo Jewelry at a Pawn Shop
Pawn shops have been a part of communities for 300o years. They provide an alternative financial solution for community members. They also have valuable items available for purchase. You don’t have to feel the value of a pre-owned piece of fine jewelry has been comprised because it comes from a pawn shop.
Pawn shops have to appraise and check the authenticity of the items it outright buys or loan against. Each item goes through a process to make sure it is genuine and belongs to the customer. If a loan is taken applying the value of the item as collateral the item will come available for sale should the borrower decide to relinquish it in exchange for the money lent. If a valuable item is sold outright to the pawn shop the pawn shop will hold the item for the designated period of time stated in law and then release the item for sale.
The price at a pawn shop is generally affordable and lower than prices found through an online store or big box store. If you are searching for a Renaissance Cameo Necklace you may find one in a pawn shop. You can always email or call ahead to any offer they have. Most pawn shops today have online shops as well and a page on their website will direct you to their current inventor.
Don’t worry if you are a seller of an agate cameo or high-end diamond, and have concerns about the offer you will receive for your valuable pieces. Pawn shops will value the jewelry based on market value and make you an offer. You don’t have to take the offer, the decision is totally up to you. You may choose to negotiate the price offered to provide any additional information you may have about the things you are looking to sell.
Western Loan and Jewelry
Western Loan & Jewelry offers full pawn service for customers throughout Los Angeles and the surrounding area. We have all types of customers who are looking to buy, sell, and pawn. Having a huge inventory of gold, gold bullion, diamonds, diamond jewelry, silver, name brand electronics, name brand tools, and musical equipment and accessories, they will help you find just what you are looking for.
Western Loan & Jewelry’s commitment to exceeding expectations, excelling in the industry, and providing the best services possible to their customer is affirmed by CAPA. With your CAPA Trusted Lender status, you define yourself as a well-rounded and community-conscientious business, and this is just what Western Loan and Jewelry delivers.
Looking for a rare cameo necklace or cameo jewelry with diamonds, stop by today!