Truly a very desirable piece, is this sardonyx cameo brooch mounted in 14K rose gold. Look closely and you'll see two images, perhaps lovers, expertly carved from this gorgeous stone. Simply mounted, it is sure to please.
Sardonyx is a species of onyx (sard refers to the reddish brown colour.)
The sardonyx was the favourite stone of ancient cameo-engravers, and the material in which their masterpieces were cut, was procured from India. These hard stones present various strata or parallel bands of two or more distinct colours. These banded stones, when cut to the layers of different colours, and when only two coloured bands of white and black, or sometimes white and black/brown are present, are known as onyxes, but when they have with the onyx bands, layers of carnelian or sard, they are termed sardonyxes.
Early cameos were something only the wealthy could collect. They were carved from hard stones and sardonyx was one of the preferred choices! Later, shell was used because it imitated the colour of the sardonyx and was much softer/easier to carve...thus the price became more affordable.
This piece was tested professionally and is 14K rose gold. It has the early "C" catch and a "ball" hinge. The pin extends slightly past the side of the brooch. The ball hinge dates it to circa 1890, but we believe the hinge was changed on the earlier piece.
Weight: 6.4 grams (.23 oz)
24 x 18 mm (1" x .75")
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