Engraved stones and cameos set into modern gold rings and necklaces are even robust enough for daily wear. The vogue for ancient jewellery has also led some contemporary jewellers to combine ancient pieces with their own creations.
Jewellery designer Zoé Monnier of Pierres Paris is one example and she has teamed up with antiquities dealer David Ghezelbash for a new selling show in the French capital.
Remember Me – taken from a Greek inscription on a cameo in the exhibition – runs until September 18 at Ghezelbash’s gallery on Rue Jacob near Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The show contains a selection of ancient gems – mainly amulets, intaglios and cameos – sourced by Ghezelbash and reworked with gold and precious stones into rings and necklaces by Monnier.
This Roman rock crystal amulet in the shape of a shell, probably used in ancient times as an offering to the goddess Venus, is set in an 18-carat gold chain by Pierres Paris and is priced at €6500.
While most of the pieces have been adapted for the modern-day wearer, a few ancient gems are left untouched including the star of the show – a Greek blue chalcedony scaraboid engraved with Aphrodite looking at herself in a hand-mirror.
It was formerly in the celebrated collection of ancient engraved gems assembled by art dealer and scholar Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886-1965) and comes with an asking price of €280,000.