As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and richness. Following the spread of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in the designs and in the materials used, such as precious and semi-precious gemstones. Garnet was favoured in Antiquity due to its deep colouration and for the meaning that was attributed to it. 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 find out more about Roman jewellery please see our relevant blog post: The History and Mythology of Gemstones in Ancient Jewellery.