Chalcedony was a treasured gemstone of the ancient world. No important Roman would be without a seal, amulet or signet ring carved in this fine and durable material. The variations, too, prized chalcedony for carved cameos and intaglios: its fine texture allows for delicate and intricate workmanship. Jewelry designers today love its glowing translucent tones and its availability in a wide range of colors and shapes, including carvings.
Varieties of chalcedony show an amazing variety of colors and patterns. The translucent stripes and bands of agates, the rich opaque green and brown of fine grained jasper, the plant like forms of moss agate, the green and red pattern of bloodstone, the rich translucent orange-red of carnelian and apple-green of chrysoprase, and the opaque black of onyx are faces of the versatile quartz gem.
Durable and easy to care for, chalcedony has a hardness of 7 and enviable toughness even when carved in intricate designs. The seal rings worn by ancient Romans are still in fine shape today. Clean with mild dish soap and let dry.