A fine matching pair of Ancient Roman gold earrings, each featuring a delicate single gold wire hoop with twisted wirework at the loop endings. The earrings are embellished by a gold spherical bead, held in place by twisted wires of gold, and two small garnet beads hanging from the earrings’ centre. Loop earrings, such as this fine example, were among the most popular styles of earrings worn by Roman women. Such earrings would have been worn by straightening the pointed, tapering gold wire through the pierced ear, threading the wire through the coil, and then closing it in a loop.
Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD Provenance: Ex Important Japanese gentleman collection, 1970-2015 Condition: Complete and intact. These earrings are suitable for modern wear with modern hook or stud applied. Please consult a professional jeweller for any alterations.
As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth. Following the spread of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in the designs and in the materials used, such as garnet. In Antiquity, garnet was very popular due to its deep colouration and for the meaning that was attributed to it. The word garnet originates from the Latin word granatus translating to seed or grain. In Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Hades gave pomegranate seeds to his lover Persephone, as a token of safety, while she was leaving the underworld to join her mother Demeter in the human world. The semi-precious stone, recalling the colour and the shape of the pomegranate seed, became a typical gift exchanged between separated lovers.
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