the fascinating jewel of Italian tradition, a symbol of Made in Italy excellence

Summer fashion is again the main character, and Made in Italy remains a symbol of expertise and value when it comes to style, valued all over the world.

This is how the old comes back to the fore cameo art, a handmade jewel symbol of Italian excellence. The cameo has returned to the spotlight on the most famous international red carpets and conquered the most famous tourist destinations: Hollywood stars, royals, up to Italian celebrities wear it. This jewel originates from the goldsmith tradition in Torre del Greco to reach all over the world, a perfect example of a combination of old and modern.

The history of this tradition is ancient and dates back to the ancient Romans, who carved gemstones to represent war scenes, to reach the present with a precise thread: the skilled craftsmanship of the engravers, capable of creating a jewel entirely by hand. a simple shell. This jewel enjoyed periods of splendor in the Renaissance, in the Elizabethan era and also in the Napoleonic period, both in England (as also shown in the famous television series Bridgerton), and in France with Napoleon giving his wife Giuseppina the famous tiara of cameos, now a jewel in the Swedish crown and worn by Princess Victoria at her royal wedding.

From Rihanna to Cate Blanchett, here the VIPs are crazy about the cameo

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The charm of cameo has reached today and has not left the international stars indifferent: Singer Rihanna has created her own collection of cameos consisting of rings, earrings and pendants, reinterpreted the precious classic and rejected it with special attention to spaciousness. woman.

Every moment is good for celebrities to wear cameos: from the casual occasion, to aperitifs on the beach to gala evenings. From the young Demi Lovato to Cate Blanchett (who wore the jewels produced by Cameo Italiano to Liz Swig’s Lizworks project on the red carpet of Venice), Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore, Gigi Hadid, Claudia Gerini and Caterina Balivo: these are just some of the stars who have been fascinated by handmade creations wearing earrings, bracelets and pendants on special occasions. A trend that, as often happens, has in a short time already infected social networks, where the hashtag #cameojewelry is the main character in almost 30 thousand posts, dedicated to the excellence of Made in Italy jewelry and also the fashion influencer with 5 million followers Alexa Chung got himself immortalized with a cameo on a pendant.


Rihanna has several times publicly shown a series of cameos in combination with a youthful look, wearing a cameo as a brooch on the cuff on her jeans and on her knit hat.

“We have made a long journey with research to make the cameo current, and we were pioneers in the design of this ‘prêt-à-porter’ jewel, thus clearing it of the concept that it was only for queens and ladies – says Gino Di Luca, founder of Cameo Italian, a leading company specializing in the creation of cameos – We have created permanent collections, but we also have lines in constant renewal, where we offer a more modern and young style where the cameo can be used as accessories in everyday clothes, even with a simple t-shirt and jeans “.

A little history


The cameo is a precious object that is able to trace centuries of history that reach today, to give the wearer a vintage, romantic and feminine atmosphere: “There are certainly several factors that contribute to the rediscovery of this jewel – he explains Bianca Cappello, historian and critic of jewelry and professor of History of Applied Arts at the IED in Milan – Today it is appropriate to carry a cameo into the modern aesthetics of mix-and-match, where the combination of elements from different styles and epochs reveal the creative ability and taste of the wearer.Because the cameo has an ancient material and technical history, those who decide to wear it today demonstrate that they have made a conscious choice related to the craft of a territory and cultural roots “.

Carving a cameo is a painstaking job that requires a great deal of attention and high manual skills, skills zealously guarded by Torre del Greco’s engravers. Each piece of jewelery represents an original work of art: “In a world of mass-produced art, the new artistic cameos offer an innovative and seductive touch of a classical art form. Rooted in art history, the cameo is confident in the modern artistic canon, where generations of artists continue to explore and expand its rich narrative potential. Even today, no jewel releases art, history, beauty and power as the cameo, ”says Cristina Del Mare, ethnologist and applied art researcher in the Multum publication in Parvo, where the story of the cameo is told.

Italian excellence

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It is in the Camana locality of Torre del Greco where the art of making scale cameo spread in the 19th century, making this jewel a symbol of the Italian craft tradition and the exceptional dexterity of the master engravers. During that period, the ships returning to the Gulf of Naples from the African shores loaded large quantities of grenades as ballast to weigh down the boats and make the return crossing easier. With all that raw material in port, the locals understood in a short time how they could improve it: Since then, the art of engraving shells and the long tradition of the engravers of Torre del Greco have developed.

Today, the art of creating a business is moving with about 300 companies employing about 2000 people. “Cameo Italiano continues to be the reference brand for this market niche, and we are witnessing a strong international demand for our creations, especially in the East in the booming Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets: a clear sign of the growing appreciation of this jewel worldwide. world – explains Di Luca – We can find two interpretations of this success: on the one hand, the great dexterity required to engrave these handmade creations, while people on the other hand rediscover the classicism of these jewels in a modern and contemporary way “.

Although it is an ancient jewel, there is certainly no lack of a constant search for innovation and design that is carried out while remaining in the classicism of the jewel and in handcrafted technique. “The beauty and expressive power of a cameo engraved with a woman’s profile or body does not depend on the subject, but on the artistic and craft quality of the hand that made it – concludes expert Bianca Cappello – Who decides to wear a cameo reunited in a modern key, in dimensions never seen before or with new trendy items or made to measure or witty, it turns out to have a strong, curious character and to love the opportunity to surprise others with a new and personal “Inserting a new image into a cameo with an old flavor creates a destabilization based on the playful effect of a false historical artifact, thus stimulating the effect of surprise and fun.”

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