Liddicoat, Richard T., Jr. Gemological Institute of America, Los Angeles, California.
Last reviewed:March 2021
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A type of carved gemstone in which the background is cut away to leave the subject in relief. Often cameos are cut from stones in which the coloring is layered, resulting in a figure of one color and a background of another. The term cameo (see illustration), when used without qualification, is usually reserved for those cut from a gem mineral, although they are known also as stone cameos. The commonly encountered cameo cut from shell is properly called a shell cameo.
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