The process of making a complete relief pattern on metal by forcing, by a blow of a hammer, a punch with the desired pattern in relief (cameo or male) into a metal sheet placed over a corresponding depressed (intaglio or female) mould, or vice versa. This process, unlike the repoussé (embossing) process, permits the making of a number of identical objects, and was an early method of mass production.
The process was used in ancient Greece for metal jewelry, and also in making Renaissance articles in the 16th century; it was highly developed in the 19th century to make mass-produced jewelry. It is now done by die stamping or on a mechanical press by machine stamping.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson