Roman Gold Ring with Amethyst Intaglio of Mercury


A very fine gold Roman ring featuring a circular band with a raised ovoid bezel. The ring is enriched with an oval amethyst inset which has been carefully incised with the god Mercury. He is presented in profile facing left with a wing sprouting from his head. A caduceus, two serpents intertwined around a staff, is displayed over his shoulder behind him. Both the wing and the staff are attributes linked to the god of messengers.

Closest UK ring size: I

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Provenance: Japanese (deceased) gentleman’s private collection, 1970-2010
Condition: Very fine condition, a few minor indentations to the reverse of the bezel.

In stock

SKU: LD-679 Category: Tags: ,

Mercury, Mercurius in Latin, was a major component of the Ancient Roman pantheon. Commonly identified with the Ancient Greek god Hermes, his cult has a long tradition, with the earliest evidences of his name found on Linear B tables dating to the 15th – 13th century BC. As messenger and herald, Mercury/Hermes features in several mythological episodes, such as the killing of Argos. His representations in Roman art derive from the Greek tradition, maintaining Hermes’ attributes such as the winged sandals (talaria) and hat (petasos). His tale tells signs of the caduceus and a purse symbolising the link that the god has to commerce but also thievery.

To find out more about Roman gods, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Gods in Mythology.

Weight 4.5 g
Dimensions L 2.3 x W 1.9 cm


Semi-Precious Stones


Reference: For a similar depiction,The British Museum, item 1897,1101.12

You may also like…