Monday, 20 June 2016

Carved Gemstones

An engraved gem is a small gemstone, usually semi-precious that has been carved, in the Western tradition normally with images or inscriptions only on one face. The engraving of gemstones was a major luxury art form in the ancient world. Engraving means carving in intaglio where the design is cut into the flat background of the stone, the design looks projecting out of background. This article uses "cameo", to denote a carving exploiting layers of different colored stone. Carved gemstones also called as “engraved gem”, commonly known as cameos or intaglios.
  
Early gems mostly show animals, Gods, and mythological scenes were common and famous statues often used. Gems were mostly cut by using abrasive powder from harder stones in conjunction with a hand-drill, probably often set in a lathe. Some early types of seal were cut by hand, rather than a drill, which does not allow fine detail. There is no evidence that magnifying lenses were used by gem cutters in antiquity. The color of several gemstones can be enhanced by a number of artificial methods, using heat, sugar and dye. 
  
Cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. It always features a raised (positive) image and contrast with intaglio, which has a negative image. Originally, and still in discussing historical work, cameo only referred to works where the raised image was of a contrasting colour to the background; this was achieved by carefully carving a piece of material with a flat plane where two contrasting colours met, removing all the first colour except for the image to leave a contrasting background.

Many modern cameos are carved into layered agates. The layers are dyed to create strong color contrasts. The most usual colors used for two-layer stones are white on black, white on blue, and white on red-brown. The layers are translucent; this allows the artist to create shading effects by removing material to allow the background layer to show through. Removing material from the white layer creates shades of blue or grey, depending on the color of the base.

Carved gemstone pendants, body chains, and earrings can be flaunted with any modern or traditional attire they suit perfectly to all.

To take a leap into the professional world of jewellery designing, enroll into Solitaire Diamond Institute's online jewellery designing courses Bangalore.


Article By
Keerthana Nayak K
Jewellery Instructor