Ancient Roman jewellery was an essential public display of wealth. The Italic population of the Sabines and of the Etruscans were described in early legends and myths as wearing gold jewellery. During the Roman Republic it became customary for all the senators, chief magistrates, and at last for the equites also, to wear gold rings. The custom of wearing gold rings spread during the Roman Empire, where jewellery’s design became more and more elaborate, embracing new designs and techniques, such as the nicolo. The nicolo is an intaglio carved in banded onyx or agate in such a way that the depiction, engraved on the pale top layer, reveals the dark colour underneath.
To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.