Ancient Roman Single Gold Earring with Garnet and Hardstone Beads


A fine single Ancient Roman earring, featuring a gold hoop closed by a hook and loose clasp. The earring is enriched with a central bright red hardstone bead with two dark red oval garnet beads to either side, all held together by a gold wire frame.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Provenance: London jewellery collection, 1980-95.
Condition: Extremely fine.


SKU: CS-232 Category:

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.

To discover more about the meanings of gemstones and semi-precious gemstones in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: The History and Mythology of Gemstones in Ancient Jewellery.

Weight 1.11 g
Dimensions L 1.7 x W 1.9 cm


Semi-Precious Stones