The cameo is usually a gem (commonly agate, onyx, or sardonyx) having two different coloured layers, with the figures carved in one layer so that they are raised on a background of the other.
What is a cameo stone made of?
Authentic carved cameos are made from natural materials, such as shell, agate, onyx, ivory, coral, mother-of-pearl, and various gemstones. Genuine painted cameos are typically made from porcelain.
What are cameos usually made of?
Cameos are commonly made out of shell, coral, stone, lava, or glass. These carvings are set in either gold or silver. Cheaper costume jewelry cameos exist, and these are set in a base metal and made out of a molded plastic, glass, or resin. These are not hand-carved and are not worth a lot of money.
How can I tell what a cameo is made of?
Authentic vs. Examine the back- hold the cameo face down and run your finger up and down the back. If the cameo is made from shell you should feel a concave or curve. The curve might be slight, but this is a good sign the cameo was carved from real shell. Plastic cameos will have a flat surface.
What Shell are cameos made of?
The carnelian shell is the shell most frequently used for cameo carving. In color, carnelian shells are a low-intensity peach or orange color, offering contrast between foreground and background colors. The sardonyx shell has a thick outer wall and a dark brown interior, and when carved it can resemble marble.