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Cameo Jewelry of Torre Del Greco - Classical and Timeless Beauty of Cameo Jewelry

Updated on March 31, 2016
Brooch with cameo of Queen Victoria
Brooch with cameo of Queen Victoria

Cameo the Jewelry of Queen and Princess

Diamond is forever but Cameo is timeless among jewelries. Cameos have been around for more than thousands year. Cameo is lovely and timeless beauty of antique jewels. Queen Elizabeth I loved to wear cameos and made it popular. Catherine the Great had a very impressive collection of Cameos. Napoleon I and Queen Victoria also loves cameos.

Cameo is jewelry of Queen and princess since long time ago. Earliest cameo have been traced back to 6 BC in Rome. Cameo is very famous among person of royalty especially during the nineteenth century in England. Queen Victoria falling in love with cameo and favored it and become popular since her reign until now.

Cameo is jewelry made from gem or shell carved in relief. Cameos were popular as pins and pendants usually worn on a black velvet ribbon or even sometimes-pastel satin ribbons. Classical Cameo is made from lava, coral, and conch shells. Cameo is usually hand-crafted sculpture and made in many forms such as necklaces, brooches, rings, lockets, earrings, cuff-links and pins.

Cameo origin and production have been almost exclusively Italian. Cameo jewelry produced comes from Torre del Greco in Italy, as the center of cameo carving. The other great carving center is Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Italian Cameo is handmade, but Germany cameos made by machine.

Torre Del Greco the City of Cameo

Where you can find the timeless beauty of Cameo? You have to visiting Torre Del Greco with your lover, the romantic small town near Naples and Mount Vesuvius, Italy. Torre Del Greco is the city of handmade cameo and have been producing massively coral jewelry since 19th Century. The craftsmen of Torre del Greco developed a technique using hand tools to engrave shells to create cameos. In 1878 a school was founded to ensure sufficient trained people were available to handle the increased demand.

Torre Del Greco the City of Cameo
Torre Del Greco the City of Cameo

Torre Del Greco also a famous summer resort town for wealthy or Italians Nobility. They built beauty and summer palaces and among the most notable is the Palazzo Materazzo. Torre Del Greco is romantic city where couple spending time there. Thousands tourists from around the world visiting Torre Del Greco each years. This town also known for its cafés like Grand Café Palumbo. There are many small café with delicious food, gelato, pastries, and coffee or cappuccino.

Type of Cameos Jewelry

There are two different methods of carvings of a cameo: relief and intaglio. Relief cameo is carved from the front with only the front profile showing or one side as opposed to a sculpture that can be seen from all sides. Intaglio cameo is carved from the rear of the profile or picture. Type of shell cameos are usually made from Carnelian conch shell, Sardonyx, and Mother of Pearl.

Carnelian Cameo - Bacchante lady
Carnelian Cameo - Bacchante lady | Source
  • Carnelian (also spelled Cornelian) is a reddish-brown mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. Carnelian conch shell carved as cameo usually peach, orange, or reddish-brown. The high quality and expensive Carnelian cameo is has high color contrast with dark background. Carnelian conch shell is from Coast of West Africa and mostly from India. Carnelian word is from Latin (caro, carnis) meaning flesh. Carnelian believed bring good energy, protects from bad vibrations, guards against poverty, helps give a sense of humor, and calms the temper. But most important is make you charm with beauty jewelry.

Sardonyx Cameo of Diana,  The Huntress
Sardonyx Cameo of Diana, The Huntress | Source
  • Sardonyx is a variant in which the colored bands are sard (shades of red) rather than black. Sardonyx shell often the most expensive type of cameos. The word Sardonyx is from Greek, Sard meaning “reddish brown”, and onyx meaning "veined gem”. Varieties of onyx include carnelian onyx, with white and red bands, and sardonyx, with white and brown bands. Sardonyx shell is comes from Caribbean and Bahamas Islands, East Africa, and Central America. The best stones are found in India. Sardonyx believed is bring lasting happiness, stability to marriage, attracts friends and good fortune.

Mother of Pearl Cameo
Mother of Pearl Cameo | Source
  • Mother of Pearl, also called nacre, is comes from inside of mussels or oysters and cameo shell type which rare. Mother of Pearl is difficult to carve. Cameo made from Mother of Pearl typically has blue color with luminescence appearance. Mother of Pearl comes in several natural colors, and is often bleached and dyed for decorative use. Some cultures regarded colorful pieces of Mother of Pearl as more desirable decoration for jewelry, cameo, and others.

Cameo Great Love Gift

Cameo is not cheap, but truly not so expensive. Many women expecting cameo as love gift. Cameo is wonderful love gift for wedding anniversary, birthday, and special moment. Classical cameos since seventeen century have been popularized with Cupid figure such Cupid with Venus, Cupid shooting arrow, and Cupid play with goat. Several Victorian cameos have love meaning with Cupid figure.

The Victorians cameos were covert sentimental messages in cameo carvings. A cameo with a cupid riding a lion has meaning as "Love conquers all". Cupid in a cage has meaning "Prisoner of Love".

So what type of Cameo as your best gift for your couple or someone important to you?

Gemma Augustea cameo, a depiction of Emperor Augustus surrounded by goddesses and allegories.  Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. It made between 10C dan 20C. Size 19 x 23 cm.
Gemma Augustea cameo, a depiction of Emperor Augustus surrounded by goddesses and allegories. Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. It made between 10C dan 20C. Size 19 x 23 cm. | Source

Bonus: Meaning of Expensive Gift and Roses

Life is full of meaning and gift. Be a good person with a good gift, either it cheap or expensive. Find out complete meaning of gift:


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Oh my, your cameos coceiltlon took my breath away! all of them are so beautiful! as usual I love your teacup coceiltlon too, im in love with the staffodshire one, i think i might want to check on ebay if they happen to sell! but all of them are so gorgeous and beautiful in design and shape. thanks for sharing and hosting another tea time tuesday! i do love sweet home alabama song hehe Noah must be sound so cutee when he sings! Blessings,Susan

    • services4all profile image


      7 years ago from U.S.

      In your post you have told Cameo jewelry, which is one of the oldest jewelry like diamond and the way you have explained about Cameo is really fantastic. Thanks for this beautiful post.

    • Esrom Art profile imageAUTHOR

      Esrom Aritonang 

      7 years ago from Indonesia

      Dear Yvette. Wow... it is possible but a rather expensive. But they will make your wishes as long as the cameo craftsman got good price. Good luck, Yvette.

    • Esrom Art profile imageAUTHOR

      Esrom Aritonang 

      7 years ago from Indonesia

      Dear Beth, I am sorry, most of good cameo website usually did not put the price, might be because its a little bit expensive. But you can contacting them to get the price. Have a nice trip to Torre del Greco.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello, Is it possible to have an artist design a cameo with myself on it as a gift for someone? Our next vacation would be to Torre Del Greco. Thank you for your help and have a blessed day.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello - I would like to purchase a cameo or more while in Torre del Greco. I would like to have an idea of prices for a variety of cameos. Can you help me find a Torre del Greco website with prices? Thanks

    • Esrom Art profile imageAUTHOR

      Esrom Aritonang 

      8 years ago from Indonesia

      You can search many website from Torre Del Greco that sell cameos online. You can also try to contacting your friend or relatives in Italy that might be able to help you. Good luck, Laura.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello - I am looking to purchase a cameo for my sister but it HAS to be from Torre del Greco. Our maternal grandparents were born there. A cameo from any other place wouldn't have the same sentimental value. Any adivice as to how I can be certain the cameo I purchase is from Torre del Greco? Thank you

    • manjubose5 profile image


      8 years ago

      I just got stuck with the hub. Exotic collection!!!


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