Originally, cameo jewelry was hand-carved from hard stone, up until the 15th and 16th centuries. At that point came the addition of the use of shell for cameo carving. Renaissance cameos are typically white on a grayish background, and were carved from the shell of a mussel or cowry. In the mid 18th century, explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells from the West Indies, and queen conch shells from the Bahamas arrived in Europe, thus sparking an increase in the number of cameos that were carved from shells. Antique shell and hard stone cameos in well-preserved condition remain highly sought after today!
This cameo ring is a beautiful hand-carved piece from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Crafted in 14kt rose gold, the setting frames an elongated cameo at the center, which is carved from banded agate stone. Highly detailed, the figural image depicts a woman who is draped in veils of gauzy fabric, flowing gracefully around her. The image is carved into the white band of the agate, resting above a layer of deep brownish-black stone below. A fine etched motif decorates the shoulders of the rose gold band, a perfect finishing touch. This wonderful example of Victorian cameo jewelry would be perfect for the antique jewelry lover or cameo collector!
Measurements: The ring has a finger size of 6.5, but could be easily resized. The rectangular cameo centerpiece measures 5/8" tall, 1/4" wide, and rests approximately 1/4" high. The gold band measures 3mm wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the ring is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting or etched details. The carved agate cameo is secure and intact, and is free of noticeable chips or scratches.