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Pietra dura (Italian). Literally, hard stone. The term (although a singular form) refers to the various hardstones (e.g. chalcedony, agate, jasper, lapis lazuli) used in flat slices in the type of mosaic produced in the Florence during the Renaissance and continuing until today, and is sometimes applied to an example of the work. It is used sometimes in small articles of jewelry, e.g. brooches, pendants, and finger rings. Occasionally the stones are cut and shaped in the form of various fruits and then assembled into a varicoloured group; such work was done in Florence and also in Russia.0
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson