A ROMAN GOLD AND CARNELIAN FINGER RING
Catalog:Jewelry:Rings and Necklaces: stock #1286115
c. 1st-2nd Century CE
A sold gold ring with a stepped oval bezel containing a carnelian intaglio depicting a youth. The ring itself is well made with evidence of the original hammering still present around the setting. The stone within is carnelian, a popular gemstone for carving in the Roman period and depicts the filleted bust of a youth facing left.
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Rings of this type were popular among the elite of antiquity and were not new to Rome, although it is from this period that the majority of examples remain. This is due partially to their high popularity at this time. Not only was possessing rings of this type a sign of wealth and prestige they could also be used to show allegiances to a specific group or affiliations with a specific deity. This example, however, was most likely chosen purely for its aesthetic qualities as its iconography is rather generic. It is likely that the original owner of this piece would have had a not insignificant jewelry collection of which this ring was just one part.