The most effective way of determining whether your cameo is real or fake is to establish whether it is made of plastic, shell or hard stone. Experts at Jonathan's Diamond Buyer claim that a plastic cameo is not real, while cameos made of stone or shell are more likely to be real.

Another method to determine whether your cameo is real is to place a hot needle next to the cameo. The hot needle makes the cameo melt if it is made of plastic.

Real cameos tend to be cool to the touch. The majority of the subjects in real cameos face to the right. The features of the figures in the cameo should be lifelike. Both the chin and the mouth on the figure in the cameo should have natural curves, while the figure's cheek should be fully rounded.

A real cameo is an antique, and as such, it should show some slight surface wear when it is examined under a microscope. In order to be valuable, a real cameo should have extremely intact paint and very little chipping, if any. It is important to purchase a cameo from a reputable dealer in order to drastically reduce the chances of buying a fake cameo.