As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth and richness. Greek and Roman jewellery was extremely elaborate in the designs and in the materials used, such as precious and semi-precious gemstones. Garnet was favoured in Antiquity due to its deep colouration and for the meaning that was attributed to it. In Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Hades gave pomegranate seeds to his lover Persephone, as a token of safety, while she was leaving the underworld to join her mother Demeter in the human world. The semi-precious stone, recalling the colour and the shape of the pomegranate seed, became a typical gift exchanged between separated lovers. This delicate pendant might have been worn as a token of love. The connection with love is here emphasized by the leaf-shape pendants, resembling Cupid’s enchanted arrow points.
To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.