Ancient Roman Jewelry

ancient roman bronze bracelet Ancient Roman jewelry is some of the most beautiful jewelry in all of history.  Ancient roman times was one of the first times in history that jewelry was adorned with many colored stones. Precious gems like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were very popular in the time. You may have also found less precious details like topaz or pearls added to certain jewelry.

Ancient Roman Restrung Glass Bead Necklace Set Yellow Blue Beads 3 4th AD RV232
Ancient Roman Restrung Glass Bead Necklace Set Yellow Blue Beads 3 4th AD RV232
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CLEANED ANCIENTROMAN RINGS GLADIATOR ANCIENT JEWELRY ROME 1 BID  1 RING
CLEANED ANCIENTROMAN RINGS GLADIATOR ANCIENT JEWELRY ROME 1 BID 1 RING
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ANCIENT ROMAN GLASS BEADS NECKLACE 2ND 6TH CENTURY AD
ANCIENT ROMAN GLASS BEADS NECKLACE 2ND 6TH CENTURY AD
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ANCIENT ROMAN STONE BEADS PLUS NECKLACE 2ND 6TH CENTURY AD
ANCIENT ROMAN STONE BEADS PLUS NECKLACE 2ND 6TH CENTURY AD
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ANCIENT ROMAN STONE BEADS PLUS NECKLACE 2ND 6TH CENTURY AD Lot 3
ANCIENT ROMAN STONE BEADS PLUS NECKLACE 2ND 6TH CENTURY AD Lot 3
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Rings

No piece of jewelry was worn more in ancient Rome than the ring. Roman males were only allowed to wear one piece of jewelry, so many opted for the ring. Sometime later it was acceptable for a broach to also be worn as a clasp for their cloaks. These were usually very conservative, and didn't have but a few semi precious or precious stones adorning them. Male heads of state had their signatory rings, but otherwise wore few items of jewelry.

Women on the other hand were not so held back, and wore a variety of different rings, necklaces, earrings, and broaches. Even gold coins were not immune, and were also made into rings. For women it was a sign of wealth and prestige. In order to curb the amount of jewelry worn, and to pressure people into conforming the accepted style, a Roman Censor, Marcus Porcius Cato drafted many regulations and rules about the amount of unchecked jewelry. He even put a heavy tax on dress and adornments, especially by women. Even the word censorship was derived from him. He felt that anyone who wore extravagant jewelry was a 'germ' of their family, and the entire family germs of the state.

Bracelets

The ancient Romans wore both bracelets around their wrists and arm bands called armlets on their upper arms. Some of the more intricate bracelets of the women were coiled up their entire forearm from wrist to elbow.

Bracelets and armlets were worn primarily by the upper class women of ancient Rome with one exception. Men going into battle often wore a metal arm band which they claimed was to protect their arm but most modern day historians believe was meant to impress their enemies. Since Ancient Romans loved jewelry the women wore their bracelets as part of their every day wardrobe. One special kind of bracelet the Ancient Roman women wore was worn just above the left elbow.

The cuff bracelet was a hugely popular form of bracelet in Rome and those made of bronze were usually engraved with intricate designs while gold cuff bracelets tended to be more on the plain side. Other bracelets made of gold and bronze were simple twisted metal.

Necklaces

ancient roman necklaceAs a whole, all women wore jewelry including Roman necklaces. Depending on one's social standing or income, would determine the detail and material used for the necklace. The more you could afford, the more stunning the necklace was. The higher the standing a lady had in Roman society, the more exquisite the necklace was. These expensive and luxurious pieces were ornamental in design.

It was also common for Roman necklaces to include talismans, amulets and seals rings. Even more interesting is that the necklaces were not only worn around the neck but on the hands, arms and ears as well.

Pendants

It was the Roman's that created the cameo pendant. The cameo has become a traditional and classic piece today that many women have in their wardrobe.

Ancient Roman pendants took on a variety of shapes and sizes. Boys during this time wore special pendants to protect them from evil spirits, and to wish them a healthy growth into manhood. Boys wore these pendants, because they were the leaders of society. Men held the class, the wealth, and the power. Because of this, it was deemed that boys needed a protective pendant.

On the other hand, women had no status in society. As such, there were no protective pendants for baby girls, because they weren't seen as having any worth in society. However, women of all classes did wear pendants.

Earrings

Ancient Roman EarringsJewelry and especially earrings are not a new concept, as early as 79AD Roman women were wearing ancient roman earrings and other jewelry such bangles, beads, and rings as is depicted in many of the paintings and sculptures from that era. Theirs was a culture blessed with access to diverse natural materials which found their way into many pieces of jewelry.

You might think that pierced ears are a new invention as well, but some evidence shows that Roman women wore a variety of pierced earrings.  There are a few surviving ancient Roman sculptures that clearly depict women with pierced ears.

Would it surprise you to know that the hoop earring was created in ancient Rome about 300 BC? Hoop earrings quickly became a favorite among Roman aristocracy and were decorated and adorned with many mythical creatures including the maenad, Greek God Eros as well as animals and slaves.

 

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