Byzantine jewellery was a full continuation of the Roman traditions. Production in the old jewellery centres of Alexandria and Antioch gave way to an increased production in Constantinople. In the Byzantine Empire, jewellery played an important role. It acted as a way to express one’s status and as a diplomatic tool. Just like during the Roman period, gemstones were extremely popular and were brought in from the East. They were either carved into a circular shape, polished and drilled so that the precious stones could be added to bracelets, necklaces or pendants. Or, they were smoothed into a cabochon and were set into different pieces of jewellery, much like this beautiful ring.
To discover more about Byzantine jewellery and the use of gemstones in ancient jewellery, please visit our relevant blog posts: The Byzantine Empire, Art and Christianity and The History and Mythology of Gemstones in Ancient Jewellery.