Gemstones & Pearls News
Carve a Niche with Cameos
Tradition with a twist offers an opportunity for year round
T echnology triumphs again, this time in the form of laser engraved
agate cameos that suit a wide range of tastes and age groups
at affordable prices.
"It's an incredibly versatile product with a timeless
appeal," says Patricia Sherwood, president of Designs by
the Sea, Colorado Springs, CO. Her company carries more than
500 styles including wildlife, women's profiles, religious
themes and hobbies in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes
from the world's major producers.
In fact, Designs by the Sea is the exclusive North American
distributor of Erwin Pauly's Fantasy Collection, featuring limited edition
and boutique lines. "It's a very avant garde collection
a mix of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styling," Sherwood
says of the German master carver's laser engraved line.
Pauly's limited edition line has 20 designs produced in
no more than 200 pieces each. Ranging from $250 $425 retail,
each cameo is signed, numbered and accompanied by a certificate
of authenticity. The boutique line, with pieces ranging from
$75 $150, has fewer designs, is not limited in edition and
is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
OTC International of Long Island City, NY, carries an extensive
line of unique copyright blue agate cameo designs, often depicting
mother and child. OTC also makes cameos of animals and recently
launched an inspirational collection geared to the millennium
that incorporates inscribed personal expressions and affirmations.
Prices start at $50 retail.
"While they are heirlooms, they're not like your grandmother's
cameo," explains George Yulis, director of new market development
for OTC. "Historically, the conch shell relief motifs of
Victorian ladies come to mind. The cameo business has changed
in the past 10 years, however, from 90% conch shell and 10% color
enhanced agate to the complete reverse. It's a fresher, more
contemporary look. Cameos are a very strong part of our jewelry
The cameo business in general has blossomed in the past decade,
says Sherwood. As confirmation, Designs by the Sea launched a
panda, horse and women's profile agate cameo in its jewelry line
a decade ago and has since converted its entire business to cameos.
The market reaches anyone from teens to grandmas for a multitude
of occasions, including birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, the
birth of a child, Mother's Day and Christmas.
Cameos are available in pendants, earrings, brooches and bracelets.
Both companies offer special order services with rapid turnaround,
from one to several weeks depending on the project.
To help jewelers market cameos, OTC offers a catalog of styles,
prospecting postcards and showcase display units. As a bonus,
the company has a corporate partnership with the Save the Children
Foundation, donating $1 per cameo sold at wholesale, pledging
a minimum of $50,000 a year.
Designs by the Sea also offers displays and a catalog. It
also plans to launch a virtual boutique on the Internet that
will include a jeweler referral service.
- Designs by the Sea, Colorado Springs, CO; (800) 392 9938
or (719) 527 6808, fax (719) 527 9195.
- OTC International, Long Island City, NY; (718) 391 7400,
fax (718) 391 7575.
by Deborah Yonick
||Family scenes are familiar themes for laser engraved
cameos from OTC International, Long Island City, NY.
|Master gem carver Erwin Pauly's limited edition
cameos are signed, numbered and packaged with a certificate of
authenticity. Available in North America from Designs by the
Sea, Colorado Springs, CO.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.