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Cameo

Color: the base is dark with light carved piece.

Hardness: 5 - 5.5

Sources: Madagascar, Mozambique, Zanzibar and Bahamas.

Cameo is the name of relief (carved piece) done by artist mainly from consecutive layers of different colors of seashell that create difference in colors between the background and the carved piece. The base of relief will be usually darker and will act as background; the contrast between the different layers is used to heighten the relief. Famous Cameo is a profile of a lady called “Madonna”. In the past they were used to carve on shells figures of rulers and their members of family.

For qualities see Mother of Pearl.

Other Cameos are made on different stones, combining several stones in different colors.