Byzantine jewellery was a continuation of Roman traditions. As in many other cultures throughout Antiquity, Byzantine jewellery acted not only as an embellishment, but most importantly as a direct display of someone’s wealth and social status. Interestingly, it also acted as a diplomatic tool. Earrings with composite pendants were the most common type of ear ornaments during the Byzantine Empire. This type consists of a hoop to which a small ring holding a single pendant is attached, with the basic scheme allowing certain variations of detail. Precious stones or glass beads may be mounted in box-settings of square, rectangular, or circular shape. We know from literary sources that the production of precious metalwork and jewellery in Imperial workshops was controlled by the Imperial treasury, or officinum, which supervised the Imperial factories that made precious metalwork.
To discover more about jewellery in Ancient Times, please visit our relevant blog post: Jewellery in Antiquity.