Special Offer: Spend over $100 and get the Best of National Geographic v.5 for $20!  
  1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content

Cameo Earrings

$119.00

Price: $119.00

Item#:2000790

Qty: Available, ready to ship.





You May Also Like

This graceful cameo is hand-carved in the southern Italian town of Torre del Greco, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, using the pink and ivory of the conch shell. The artist delicately carves away the outer layer of the shell to shape a young woman’s profile. Cameos became popular souvenirs for English tourists visiting the newly rediscovered ruins of Pompeii during the Elizabethan era. Sterling silver. Signed by the artist.


Approx. 1"L x 5/8"W.


Cameos have been popular for more than six millennia. Carvings have been found in Mesopotamia and Minoan Crete. Early Greek and Roman carvings in gems and precious stones depicted mythological themes and idealized images of women. Pope Paul II, known during the Renaissance for his love of flashy jewelry, was a devoted cameo collector. They've adorned military helmets, signet rings, brooches, dishes and vases, and much more.


Shell cameos reached new heights of popularity during the mid 1800s. When the ruins of Pompeii were excavated starting in the 1740s, it became a must-see destination with England's elite. Cameos made from the shells harvested by local fishermen were one of the most frequent souvenirs to show off one's well-traveled, cultural status back home.


Cameos remained popular throughout the 19th-century Victorian era. Queen Victoria was often seen wearing shell cameos as well as jasperware ones made by Josiah Wedgwood. Cameos featuring the profile of a beautiful woman—either a commissioned portrait or an anonymous idealized figure—became especially popular during the 19th century.


It was during this time that the southern Italian fishing village of Torre del Greco, at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius less than 10 miles from Pompeii, became known for producing some of the best shell cameos in the world. Since shells are inexpensive and easy to carve, Italian cameos were deemed appropriate for daytime wear and started to be appreciated for their artistry more than their sparkle.


Harvesting coral, or "red gold," had been Torre del Greco's main industry for a century, but in 1805 the king of Naples granted a 10-year exclusive license on the harvesting of coral and shells to a Frenchman named Paolo Bartolomeo Martin. Martin set up the first cameo-producing workshop and the entire industry took off. Today Torre del Greco is a popular resort town, with old noble summer palaces on the outskirts, but cameo production remains its specialty.


Other Products Related to Cameo Earrings

Italian Cameo and Pearl Earrings
Italian Cameo and Pearl Earrings
(Got it? Rate it.)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

Perched at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Torre del Greco has been known for its hand-carved shell cameo jewelry since the 1700s. Cameos were popular souvenirs among well-heeled English travelers visiting the ruins of Pompeii. Although the tiny fishing village has grown into a developed town, carved cameos remain a local specialty.


$148.00
Gates of Charleston Pearl Earrings
Gates of Charleston Pearl Earrings
(Got it? Rate it.)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

Charleston, South Carolina, is a veritable outdoor ironwork museum, with its pedestrian-friendly streets and a tradition of cast-iron and wrought-iron gates, fences, and balconies that date back to the early 18th century. British styles were the earliest to take hold in the city, but a local style soon evolved and gained national attention, with elements that were influenced by German ironworkers and the neoclassical design that was popular in architecture of the 19th century.


$129.00
Golden Horn Ruby Quartz Earrings
Golden Horn Ruby Quartz Earrings
(Based on 1 review)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

Less than half a mile separates Europe from Asia at the narrowest point of Turkey’s Bosphorus strait. The Golden Horn is the name of an approximately 4-mile-long inlet whose harbor has sheltered boats for thousands of years, through four powerful empires. Its picturesque views have inspired painters, poets, and photographers—Leonardo da Vinci even designed a bridge for it in 1502.


$125.00
Egyptian Arabesque Gold Earrings
Egyptian Arabesque Gold Earrings
(Based on 20 reviews)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings
Arabesque designs—repeating geometric patterns of flowers and animals—are often found in Middle Eastern art and architecture. In Islamic art, these never-ending patterns symbolize a spirituality that extends beyond the visible world. These 24-karat gold-vermeil earrings pair intricate arabesque design with a timeless style. Handmade in Cairo.
$79.00
Balinese Timiang Sterling Silver and Onyx Earrings
Balinese Timiang Sterling Silver and Onyx Earrings
(Got it? Rate it.)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

Silversmithing has a long and respected history on the Indonesian island of Bali, where the word pandai means both "smith" and "clever." Indonesia's early royal families were generous patrons of the arts, and many contemporary silversmiths have inherited hundreds of years of their ancestors' skills. A small group of Balinese artisans collaborate on the tiny granulated designs on these medallion earrings. Each is handcrafted from sterling silver and paired with a smooth onxy cabochon.


$120.00
Robin's Nest Earrings
Robin's Nest Earrings
(Based on 3 reviews)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

These whimsical earrings celebrate that classic harbinger of spring, the robin, as well as the common belief that having a bird's nest in your home brings good luck. In German tradition, finding a bird's nest in one's Christmas tree meant luck and harmony for the coming year.


$39.00
Last Emperor Vintage Jade Earrings
Last Emperor Vintage Jade Earrings
(Based on 7 reviews)
Category: Clothing/Jewelry/Earrings
These elegant earrings feature 90-year-old jade buttons from the time of the rule of Puyi, China's ''last emperor.'' Bezel-set in 22-karat gold vermeil, they feature dangling tiers of cultured freshwater pearls. Wear an evocative piece of history that symbolizes the end of an era from nearly one century ago. As these are handmade by artisans using vintage buttons, each will vary.
$95.00
$48.99
Marco Polo Gemstone Earrings
Marco Polo Gemstone Earrings
(Based on 12 reviews)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings
Venetian explorer and trader Marco Polo was one of the first Westerners to travel the Silk Road, bringing European goods to Asia and returning with, among other things, precious gems. Here, the journey is embodied in garnet, peridot, amethyst, and granulated 24-k gold vermeil. Renaissance designer Benvenuto Cellini's work for the Medici family is adapted by Chinese jewelers using faceted gems mined in India—true fusion of three cultures. Read more about Marco Polo's journey in Mike Edwards' 2001 series of articles for National Geographic magazine.
$109.00
Guatemalan Jade and Sterling Silver Earrings
Guatemalan Jade and Sterling Silver Earrings
(Based on 13 reviews)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

Jade has an ancient history not just in Asia, but also in Mesoamerica, where it was used by cultures from the Olmec to the Maya to the Aztec. It symbolized life and death and was used to make figurines, jewelry, and even inlays for teeth.


$59.00
Etruscan Hoop Earrings
Etruscan Hoop Earrings
(Based on 4 reviews)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

The ancient Etruscans, a civilization that flourished in northern Italy until the first century BC, were known for their sophisticated metalwork. Granulation, where cast-metal pieces were painstakingly decorated with tiny spheres, was a specialty, and the best pieces were saved to accompany the wearer into the afterlife. These 18-karat-gold-vermeil earrings are reproductions of an ancient Etruscan design. Handcrafted in Cortona, in the heart of Tuscany, Italy.


$109.00
Caserta Palace Pearl Earrings
Caserta Palace Pearl Earrings
(Based on 3 reviews)
Category: Jewelry/Earrings

From the Palazzo Reale in Turin to the Reggia di Caserta in the south, Italy’s former royal residences continue to inspire. These sweeping, baroque-style earrings are handcrafted in Italy using brass and freshwater pearls in a style inspired by Renaissance portraits found in the famous Uffizi Gallery, once headquarters of the Medici dynasty.


$129.00
Solar Quartz Earrings
Solar Quartz Earrings
(Got it? Rate it.)
Category: Clothing/Jewelry/Earrings

Each of these one-of-a-kind earrings is made from a slice of solar quartz, a milky white agate-quartz cut from a stalactite—rock formations that build up over centuries as water drips from the roof of a cave. The stone is plated with hammered, 18k-gold-plated copper. Handcrafted in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


$189.00
$59.99