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Roman jewellery reached a level of development never seen before and not surpassed until the Renaissance. Imperial Rome was the world centre of jewellery, importing large quantities of precious stones and materials.
The initial style of its works was typically Greek or Etruscan, but it soon developed its own style, ornate and ostentatious, precious stone settings, opus interassile, a veritable mosaic of small stones on a gold or silver support. Another speciality of Roman jewellery was gem-cutting, with its highly prized carvings, incisions and bas-reliefs, and above all its cameos, carved on agate and onyx, stones with layers of different colours which, once polished, produced an effect of depth and polychromy.