Roman Gold Earrings with Garnets


A pair of stunningly intricate gold earrings from ancient Rome, featuring a disk of perforated gold in a ‘sun-ray’ design, and centred with a red garnet. Below, each earring features a section of gold in a wave-like design, leading in turn to three drops per earring. These drops begin and terminate in a garnet bead. The earrings display simple swan-neck loops on the back.

Date: Circa 3rd - 4th Century AD
Condition: Fine condition. One earring is missing a small stone.


SKU: EH-114 Category:

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, but as the power and spread of the Roman Empire increased, so too did jewellery designs 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. The wide range of natural resources enabled artisans to create ostentatious jewellery using a diverse selection of materials: this increasingly included sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, garnet and amber from India, and pearls (which were particularly prized). Archaeological finds of Roman jewellery are relatively rare, considering the magnitude of Roman civilisation, and the historical and geographical span of the Empire.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Hades gave pomegranate seeds to Persephone as a token of safety. Pomegranate seeds were often associated with the garnet stone, which became a typical gift given upon departure for travel. When given in this context, the garnet stone was believed to grant a quick and safe return, and to eradicate the emotional distance between separated lovers.



Weight 3.7 g
Dimensions L 2.7 cm


Semi-Precious Stones