Modern cameo pins are the perfect classic celebratory token for birthdays, events and more!

A teenaged student and I were walking through an antique mall the other day, and saw some cameo pins displayed in a curio cabinet. I gasped, marveling at their delicate beauty. Since she was from China, she didn’t share the same history of jewelry.

These look really old, she said. But they’re beautiful. If they looked more modern, I’d wear one.

Cameo jewelry has been around for centuries ever since the days of Julius Caesar. Then they were carved in stone, and featured portraits of mostly Greek and Roman emperors. However, shell and agate cameos became more popular during the Victorian Era, when women would wear them as pins attached to high collared blouses.

Cameos featured a detailed 3-D portrait of a woman in a realistic style, mostly out of white agate, and then the background was dyed blue, black or red-brown. The cameos were attached to lockets, brooches or hung as pendants.

These days, you don’t need to purchase a cameo from an antique mall in order to enjoy them! You can create your own modern-day cameo jewelry using a photo of a family member.

For example, if your grandmother was celebrating her 80th birthday, why not have us create a cameo of her? All we’d need is a scanned photo or JPG of her picture, and we can carve a 3-D image of her in frosted silver or nickel metal. The background could be sandblasted, painted traditional blue or remain simply recessed metal.

With only recessed metal in the background, the cameo jewelry would look more like Abraham Lincoln, on a standard penny, explained one of the salespeople. It all depends upon if you were going for a formal or natural look. It all depends upon if you were going for a formal or natural look.

One customer from Tennessee went for the natural look. She and her husband wanted to commemorate their favorite golf pro on a cameo pin. His annual golf tournament was a difficult time for many, but they appreciated that a cameo lapel pin of him was included in their sign-up packet. They wore the pins on their shirts and caps, she said. They were glad to have something to remember him by.

As a rule, our designers would be glad to show you a couple of renditions of your cameo until you give us final approval. To personalize it, you can also add a date, or a special message around the edges.

Yes, a modern- day cameo pin would be a great gift for milestone birthday celebrations, anniversaries, family reunions and memorials.