Agate: The Essence of Beauty

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By Axel HenselderMore from this author

Agate cameos are made from dyed multiple layered agates, which are a regional specialty of the cutters around Idar-Oberstein in Germany. Agate was first used for carvings during the Greek and Roman Empire and ever since, people have admired the detail and dimension of carved layer-stones. In the early 1980's, cameos have become more affordable due to the use of ultra-sonic carving machines.


Herbert Stephan KG from Idar-Oberstein is currently offering more than one hundred designs in various shapes and colors. Besides these traditional cameos with two layers, Stephan is the only company in the world that is constantly offering three-layered cameos. These cameos are the highlight of the collection and most of them need to be finished by the hands of master carvers. Last but not least, these masters are always encouraged to develop new ideas, which can be seen in the online gallery of one-of-a-kind stone carvings. Last but not least, these masters are also encouraged to experiment with colored semi-precious stones and their newest creations can be found under

by Axel Henselder

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Axel Henselder

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