The extremely sophisticated technique of engraving gemstones was one of the most luxurious art forms in the Ancient World. Furthermore, in Ancient Roman culture gemstones were amongst the most expensive and lavish objects and were prized above all other possessions. Gemstones were often decorated with iconographies driven from literature, myths, theatre and everyday life. In this specific case, the intaglio represents an ant, which was one of the attributes of the Roman goddess Ceres, patron of the grain and fertility. Such ring might have been worn intended to bring prosperity to the wearer.
To discover more about Intaglios, please visit our relevant blog post: Intaglios: Miniature Masterpieces.