The ancient Romans considered jewellery to be an essential accessory, for it provided a public display of their wealth. Roman jewellery at first followed trends set by the Etruscans, using gold and glass beads. However, as the power and spread of the Roman Empire increased, so too did jewellery designs which became increasingly elaborate. Different cultural styles from Greece, Egypt, North Africa, and the Orient were all incorporated to reflect Rome’s prosperity as a dominant, conquering city. Earrings are known as one of the earliest forms of jewellery, they were used as a means of embellishing the face. Pliny the Elder suggests earrings were the most popular and worn piece of jewellery by Roman women.
To find out more about decorative techniques of ancient jewellery, please see our relevant blog posts: Decorative Metalwork Techniques