cam·eo | ˈka-mē-ˌō
A layered stone, frequently made from banded agate or sea shell, that has been carved with either a woman's profile (most common), a man's profile, a natural scene, or themes involving the Greek or Roman Gods and Goddesses
Cameos, which today are typically necklaces or broaches, are layered stones of banded agate or seashell. These stones are carved with a raised image or scene. Most commonly, a woman’s profile is carved into a cameo. You may also find cameos with carvings of a man’s profile, a natural scene, or themes of classical gods. Cameos have contrasting colors of the raised image and the stone’s background, further adding to their visual appeal and drawing all eyes on the raised image. This jewelry type, which is still worn today, got its beginning in 300 BC in Greece. During these times, cameos were carved with images of Roman gods and goddesses, as well as Roman Emperors and Empresses. Today, many people recognize cameos as a popular type of jewelry worn during the Victorian era. Once worn only by royal families and the elite, cameos began being produced in mass in the second half of the 19th century.