In a pietra dura piece, the inlay stones are much harder, but the surface of the finished product is smooth, which differentiates it from the other styles of mosaics which have a rougher finish.
Pietra dura is an Italian term which literally means hard stone. It refers to the various hard stones, such as chalcedony, agate, jasper, and lapis lazuli, which were used in flat slices in the type of mosaic produced in Florence during the Renaissance period. This type of jewelry production continues today, and is sometimes applied to an example of the work. Generally the background is a darker color to offset the object being depicted.
Our vintage jewelry find of the week is a lovely Pietra Dura Mosaic Brooch which is set in 800 silver and also has a bale so that you can hang it as a pendant too. The chalcedony, malachite, agate and mother of pearl stones are set in onyx and the setting has a rolled edge and the stone is bezel set. It is just lovely and perfect for spring with the flower design.
This pretty Pietra Dura Mosaic brooch is available at Vintage Jewelry Lane for $155.99. You can visit the item page for more details on the construction. Pietra dura jewelry is becoming harder to find and is sure to increase in value.