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Cameos Old & New

Cameos Old & New

by Anna M. Miller, Diana Jarrett (Other)

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Newly Updated and Expanded

Critical and up-to-the-minute information for the novice, advanced collector, jewelry dealer, curator and appraiser—for all who buy and sell cameos, or who are just fascinated by them.

Antiques Roadshow Book Club Selection

Since ancient times, cameo making has allowed artists of every era to capture and


Newly Updated and Expanded

Critical and up-to-the-minute information for the novice, advanced collector, jewelry dealer, curator and appraiser—for all who buy and sell cameos, or who are just fascinated by them.

Antiques Roadshow Book Club Selection

Since ancient times, cameo making has allowed artists of every era to capture and reflect on the history, literature and lore of their culture. Today, the allure of finely carved cameos is drawing a new generation of both savvy collectors and gifted artists who are captivated by their transcendental elegance.

This first and only comprehensive reference guide offers valuable information on:

  • Where to successfully hunt for cameos
  • How to separate old from new, imitation and newer synthetic materials from original shell and stone cameos
  • How to differentiate between ultrasonically produced and hand-carved cameos

Richly illustrated with many new cameo photographs, this new edition will facilitate the recognition and evaluation of quality in cameos and increase your confidence in buying and selling cameos with:

  • Key factors for defining value
  • Information on how to buy cameos from retailers and antique dealers, via the Internet or at auction
  • A clear explanation of The MasterValuer Program? of Quality Ranking that serves as a vital guide for use when evaluating cameos
  • An extensive review of outstanding contemporary cameo artists throughout the world, their style, subject matter, unique and identifiable techniques, contact information … and more

Editorial Reviews

Lapidary Journal
Well organized, interestingly written, and easy to read. . . .Fills a gap in jewelry history and will be eagerly received.
Jewelry Artist

This fourth edition is a comprehensive reference guide for buyers, collectors, appraisers, and dealers on the quality and value of cameos. Diana Jarrett brings extensive new information to the text, originally written by the late jewelry expert Anna Miller, including new manufacturing methods, new resources, and a guide to determine the value of older cameos. For more information, visit www.gemstonepress.com.

The MidWest Book Review

CAMEOS OLD AND NEW appears in its fourth updated edition, revised and expanded by Diana Jarrett, GG, RMV in a newly updated set of details for both novice and advanced jewelry collectors. This is the first - and only - guide to cameos and covers everything from where to hunt for them to how to value and identify them. Many new cameo photos and key factors for defining value contribute to an exceptional survey of where, how and when to buy cameos whether it be at auction, from a dealer, or via the Internet. Any serious collector's library must have this.

Gem News Pala International

The 4th edition of Cameos Old & New, by Anna M. Miller, has been revised, updated, and expanded by Diana Jarrett. It's a current encyclopedia on cameos including: history, mythology, production, materials, appraisals, collecting, artistry, and the future of cameos.

The Australian Gemmologist called Cameos Old & New "the best introductory book on cameos."

This is a must-have for anyone involved along the path cameos take, from start to finish, into the market place, and beyond. The book contains 371 pages of insightful information, detailed pictures, and 16 color plates. The book is then concluded with a chronology of engraved stones and cameos in Europe, along with a glossary of glyptic-art and jewelry terms.

The book is widely available, including from the publisher, Gemstone Press .

Southern Jewelry News - KAREN TWEEDIE

Retailers must grab this! It is good for you, good for your business, good to give to your customers.

Gemologist Diana Jarrett leaves no stone unturned in her sweeping revision of the classic reference guide "Cameos Old & New, 4th Edition" by GemStone Press. Jarrett combines her training as a gemologist and appraiser and her passion for uncovering "the story behind the stone" to this lavishly illustrated compendium on the topic of cameos. From classical motifs to abstract modern interpretations; from traditional materials to recently discovered gemstones; from ancient stone carving techniques to modern machine carving production - it's all there in rich detail and technical but easily understood prose.

Jewelry professionals and collectors as well as anyone interested in gemstone carvings will find what they want to know in this well organized and thoroughly entertaining book.

This latest 4th edition of "Cameos Old & New" provides a comprehensive cultural and historical context upon which these miniature sculptural works of art are placed. The beautifully illustrated black and white and color plates, 75% of which are new to this edition, present a mind blowing collection to satisfy the cravings of any seasoned collector or whet the appetite of those new to gem carving and cameos. Unlike some reference books that are used a page or chapter at a time to answer a question, this book is best enjoyed from cover to cover.

Diana Jarrett writes for both the casual and experienced collector of cameos, as well as dealers, appraisers, and jewelry historians and those interested in a captivating volume about this curious artform - the cameo. "Cameos Old & New" is not just a reference but it is the reference for cameos. Starting with the historical perspective of ancient cameos, Jarrett develops the story of who those gifted gem carvers were and where and how they carved. Tales unfold of scarabs and Greek gods - of ancient fashions of the rich and royal. The development of stone carving techniques and use of other materials are set against the background of the rise, the fall, and the re-emergence of this ancient craft. The cameos themselves reveal powerful messages expressed in stone that have passed through the hands of queens and popes, through generations of collectors, down through history and finally end up today in museums and private collections.

This comprehensive edition is a valuable handbook for discovering how to distinguish important qualities in the cameos one collects or sees. Not only does this volume present a detailed timeline of ancient to modern cameos, materials, subject matter and carving techniques - but it offers chapter upon chapter of up-to-date resources and contact information that is available online for contemporary cameo artists, the modern masters, and suppliers.


Books on cameos have been written for centuries. One only needs to look in the bibliography or early chapters of Cameos: Old & New to see the amazing history of the "glyptic arts," which literally spans millennia. The first three editions by the late Anna Miller were filled with a tremendous amount of information and hundreds of black-and-white and color images on the subject. The fourth edition, edited by gemologist and journalist Diana Jarrett, is indeed the charm, a significant update that adds more than 100 pages and revitalizes Ms. Miller's book for the new century. It features rewrites and improved organization of content—from the history, romance, and mythologies in the beginning of the book, to transparent gems, coral harvesting, alternate cameo materials, recent production processes, and sources and suppliers.

New finds of vintage cameos from flea markets, yard sales, and antique shops are illustrated and grouped by era. Pages of information on evaluating cameo authenticity are new, as are pointers to helpful websites. The glossary and suggested reading list are expanded as well. The historical value of cameos is addressed in depth, including the accomplished artists of more recent times. Among them are 21st century masters who are keeping the form alive in newly discovered ateliers in places such as Panama and Turkey, as well as in the traditional carving centers of Germany and Italy.

Overhauled for this edition are the chapters on buying and selling, with entries and tips on auction houses, the Internet, and TV shopping. The color plates in the center section give a broader representation of the full range of the art, with different types of carvings, materials, styles, and subject matter. The final chapter, new to the 4th edition, speaks to the direction in which the glyptic arts are headed, with inspirational quotes from the contemporary artists who continue this ancient skill.

Whether or not you have an earlier version of this book in your library, this edition belongs there.

California Bookwatch

Newly updated and revised by Diana Jarrett, GG, RMV, this classic guide to cameos is a 'must' for any jewelry dealer or would-be collector. It tells how to locate them, how to identify old from new, and how to understand their creation and value. New cameo photos in this edition compliment discussions of key influences on value in this ongoing recommendation for any jewelry collector's library. CAMEOS

Product Details

Jewish Lights Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
3rd Edition, New
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Anna M. Miller, G.G., RMV, was a jewelry historian, author, lecturer, and instructor. The developer of The MasterValuer Program™, a jewelry appraisal course that has been taught worldwide, she consulted with individuals and companies on buying, selling, appraising and interpreting the jewelry arts. Miller was the author of five books on gems and jewelry, including Gems & Jewelry Appraising: Techniques of Professional Practice, the first comprehensive work about gem and jewelry appraising; and Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Appraising: Antique, Period & Modern (both GemStone Press).

Diana Jarrett, G.G., RMV, an award-winning trade journalist, is a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). While studying at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Jarrett began working at Sotheby's Beverly Hills for their important jewels auctions, and at the same time writing for custom jewelry designers.
She is a popular speaker on the topics of gems, rare stones and jewelry. Her syndicated column "The Story Behind the Stone" has been a staple in Southern Jewelry News and Mid-America Jewelry News for years. She is a contributing editor for Texas Jewelers magazine, New York Mineralogical Club Bulletin, Colored Stone Magazine, Jewellery Business (Canada), American Gem Society (AGS) and many other trade and consumer publications. Jarrett currently serves as colored gemstone editor for Rapaport Diamond Report. Contact her at info@dianajarrett.com or by visiting her website: www.dianajarrett.com.

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