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Can a cameo be image be repaired?
by: Anonymous

My Grandmother wore her cameo ring daily and the matching earrings quite often and the image is not as sharply defined at this point. Can the image be repaired or retouched to bring back any of the original details of the carving?

The Colors of Cameo
by: Yvonne

Good Afternoon!

Nancy, this is where an image is so important. The color "discoloration" could be intentional. It's hard to know without seeing an image. The subtle nuances of color is what make many cameo so appealing. The carver makes use of the color nuances in the shell or hard-stone material, (some better than others) to add depth and dimension with the effect of imparting "life" into the cameo subject.

There are a number of different shells that have been used in the History of Cameo Making. The orange color "discoloration" that you mention could actually be the natural color of the CORNELIAN SHELL - "Cypraeacassis Rufa" - this shell's interior has a reddish layer and is pale flesh colored nearer to the shell's surface.

Jewelers use a "loupe," a hand lens, to examine the quality of a carving and determine the item's material. Magnification reveals if the cameo was carved from one piece or assembled from different materials and glued together, or whether the cameo was carved or machine-made (using lasers). Under loupe magnification, an authentic cameo should display a "snowy" appearance on its surface. If you're not sure how to use a Jeweler's Loupe Click Here...

Hardstone cameos may also make use of color nuances. In the following image is an antique cameo in which the carver has masterfully made use of the colors found in a three layered onyx carved with an image of Napoleon Bonaparte as Roman Emperor.

Warm Wishes
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre

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