Ancient Roman Silver Finger Ring with Inscription


An octagonal ancient Roman ring, made from elegantly brushed silver. Each side of the ring is slightly concave, tapering outward to a ridge that it shares with the adjacent side. Further incised vertical lines adorn the exterior of this fine example, along with an oval shape.

The engraved inscription is well preserved and clearly legible, reading: ‘VTERE/FELIX/FORTU’, meaning ‘use happily, with luck’. Fortu is likely an abbreviation, in this case for the Latin word ‘fortuna’, meaning luck.

Internal diameter 2.4cm.

Closest UK ring size: Z + 3.

Date: Circa 3rd century AD
Condition: Fine condition - inscriptions well preserved and clearly legible.


SKU: AF-63 Category: Tag:

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. The custom of wearing rings was popular amongst the Romans, and was probably introduced by the Sabines, who are described in early legends as wearing gold rings with precious stones. During the Roman Republic it became customary for all the senators, chief magistrates, and at last for the equites also, to wear gold rings.

Weight 6.76 g
Dimensions L 2.8 x W 2.8 cm



Reference: For similar inscription: The British Museum, London, item 2005,0403.1 and For similar shape: The V & A, London, item 543-1871

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