|Types of Jewelry: Jewelry types included brooches, rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The fibula, a clothes fastener, the cameo and hoop earrings were introduced |
Gemstones used in Ancient Roman Jewelry: Gemstones used included sapphires, emeralds, garnets, jet, topaz, pearls, amber and diamonds
The Influences of Ancient Roman Jewelry
What influenced Ancient Roman Jewelry? The wealth and the power of the Roman Empire. Their continued expansion across the Mediterranean area, North Africa, Egypt and Europe brought them land and taxes and contact with many different cultures. The Romans incorporated many of these styles, designs and gemstones (including jet) in their own jewellery and combined them with their own designs. Their immense wealth enabled the Romans to produce highly ostentatious jewellery incorporating the precious and semi-precious stones obtained from the different areas of their Empire. Roman citizens became so rich that jewellery was not just confined to the upper classes. Lower classes could also afford jewelry.
Gemstones used in Ancient Roman Jewelry
With their wealth and their access to the treasures and gemstones of all areas of the Empire the Romans produced large, colorful and ostentatious jewellry incorporating the precious stones - emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires and the whole range of semi-precious gemstones including garnets, jet, topaz, pearls and amber.
Ancient Roman Jewelry - Seals
A popular item of Ancient Roman jewelry were signet or seal rings. The gemstone Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make signet rings or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Carnelian was an excellent choice of stone because hot wax, used for making an imprint of the seal, does not stick to Carnelian.
Ancient Roman Jewelry Fashion
Both men and women wore items of jewellery including rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. The most common jewelry item of early Rome was the brooch, which was used to secure clothing together. The Romans tended to pin items of clothes rather than sew them. To this end they developed the fibulae or clasps. The fibula, was resembled a safety pin and was used as a clothing fastener and was decorated with a cameo or a winged Victory emblem. Another development was the hoop earring. Cameo portraits were also worn as rings and pendants. A bulla was an ancient Roman pendant worn on a strap around the neck that consisted of a rounded container holding an amulet. Finely engraved rings were used to seal important documents with wax. And coin rings were introduced during the era of the Romans.
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