Carved hardstones have been part of jewelry history for eons. The ancient Romans excelled at creating amazing examples utilized in rings and brooches.
When a carved stone is mentioned, people usually associate it with a cameo. What is realized here is an antique intaglio carving.
Cameos typically feature a raised or positive relief image with the background cut away. An intaglio is made when a composition is carved into the surface and appears as a depression.
An oval sardonyx agate supports the armorial family crest displayed. Perfect for this as the banding of the agate is straight and parallel allowing the different colorations to appear as foreground and background. A griffin, helmet armor and a crest all our depicted.
The coat of arms is represented with the shield with its field marked with a variety of elements and symbolic lines. Above the shield is the helmet, usually reserved for nobility with a wreath on top upon which the crest rests.
The contrast of the rust-colored foreground is perfect against the white background. The stone is set into an oval mounting of 14k yellow gold with an under-gallery appointed east and west with small gold spheres and subtle open work design. On the shoulders a cartouche encloses a vertical linear pattern accented with black enameling.
A man or woman both can find this captivating.