How to Clean a Cameo

How to clean a cameo

Cameo Photo Courtesy of MetMuseum.org.

Authentic carved cameos can be made of shell or natural stone, while authentic painted cameos are typically made from porcelain. As a general rule, any carved cameo made from a natural material can be considered authentic. Some of the materials used include shell, agate, carnelian, onyx, ivory, lava, coral, jet, bone, mother of pearl, and various gemstones.

A cameo is considered non-authentic or fake if it has been made with plastic or resin.

For Best Results

Before cleaning an authentic cameo, inspect it for chips or cracks by holding it up to the light.  If there are no chips or cracks use Connoisseurs Dazzle Drops Advanced Jewelry Cleaner or Connoisseurs Delicate Jewelry Cleaner.  Proceed cleaning your cameo by following the cleaning instructions on the package.

Make sure you do not soak your cameo in the jewelry cleaner for longer than 30 seconds. Use the brush provided to lightly clean the surface and get between any prongs and intricacies in the setting.  Pat the cameo dry with a lint-free cloth and let it sit for a while to dry completely.

If you do discover a chip or crack in your cameo, consider cleaning it with our Connoisseurs Gold or Silver Polishing Cloths.

Cameos for Today’s Woman

While cameos have been around since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, they have moved in and out of popularity over the centuries. After their peak in the Victorian Era through World War II, they fell out of favor in the latter half of the 20th century.

Today, however, cameos are enjoying something of a comeback. Jewelers report that young customers, including Millennials, are buying new and vintage cameo brooches and wearing them on long chains – often layering them with other necklaces.

Additionally, the choker trend of the last few seasons means that more and more women are pinning cameos to velvet ribbons for a fashionable retro look.

Try it!

Curious about cameos?  You might enjoy our recent Obsessed by Jewelry article, “Get to Know Cameos | Plus New Ways to Wear This Ancient Style.”