Development of the Agate Cameo

The color of the brazilian Agate is an unsightly grey, so that obviously nobody could imagine the hidden beauty of a finished Agate Cameo. The striped agate material that is used for cutting is called „Lagenstein“ e.g. stones with different layers. Normally this material is being cut out of Agates with even, parallel layers, so that the result is a stone with a light layer on top of a dark layer. 

The possibility of giving color to the stone depends on porousity, opal and water content of each layer. Layers which can be colored easily are called „soft“ and layers that are difficult to dye are called „hard“. Details of the coloring process are very well hidden secrets of the various companies. This skill of coloring Agates has been practised in Idar-Oberstein since the beginning of the 19th century (about 1820) in worldwide unparalleled perfection.