The art or carving of gemstones is called glyphs. It is an ancient art dating back to the ancient civilizations of Sumer, Babylon and Assyria to create seals and amulets. Stone carving was practiced in ancient Greece and reached a high standard in ancient Rome.
In ancient times, the most popular carving materials were agate, amethyst, jasper, agate and onyx. Today, almost all types of gemstones can be carved, even very hard materials like diamonds. However, gemstone engraving is usually a less expensive material for cost reasons.
One of the most traditional gemstone carvings is relief. It has a raised (or positive) relief image; contrasts with a contrasting gravure with negative relief. Reliefs have been associated with images of heads in oval frames, but reliefs are not always images of heads or people.
Historically, cameos were most often used to make signet rings. The wearing of signet rings (derived from the Latin "signum", meaning sign) dates back to ancient Greece; unique personal signatures did not develop in ancient times, and most documents required stamping. Signet rings are usually made of onyx, agate or agate.
Carved Quartz Frog Carved Quartz Frog
Many reliefs appear light-colored reliefs on darker ground. These were first carved from layered materials such as banded agate. Craftsmen use the different colors in the layers to create the familiar black-on-white, blue-on-white and red-brown white on the so familiar.
There is also a long history of carving ornaments out of gemstone materials. Chinese beautifully carved figures of nephrite. In modern times you can find them in quartz, onyx, amber, bloodstone, lapis lazuli, opal, sapphire, ruby, jasper and ruby-zoisite.