Pietra Dura is the lost art of creating images by inlaying specifically cut stones into other stones. In jewelry, we see it most in the Victorian era, set into brooches and pendants like this one. Most often, the background color is black and made of onyx. In our many years in the antique jewelry business, we have never seen one with a malachite background! The rich varying shades of bright green and its organically striped gradation makes the malachite stone markedly natural. It makes it ever more impressive, even at first glance, whereas the usual pietra duras with black backgrounds do not immediately read as natural stones. These stones are incredibly hard to carve and work with. This 18k brooch, which has a bale to be worn as a pendant as well, is truly a small masterpiece! It measures just under 1 3/4 inches by 1 3/8 inches.