Ancient Roman signet ring engraved with Victoria (Victory), 2nd century AD. A yellow gold ring set with one central green hardstone intaglio carved with a full length profile of winged Victory holding up a laurel wreath in a collet setting, all on a square shank.
The Greek equivalent of the Roman goddess of victory was known as Nike.
Ancient Roman signet ring engraved with Victoria (Victory), 2nd century AD.
Please remember every item of our stock is unique.
The number of interested parties is based on the number of enquiries received on and offline.
The greater the interest, the more likely it will sell quickly.
We do not offer discounts; therefore if you are interested in a popular item, we recommend that you make your purchase quickly.
INTAGLIO Material carved (worked) so that the design is cut into the surface of the material (incised). Opposite of cameo.
SHANK The part of the ring that encircles the finger, not including the top piece or head.
COLLET Very early method of setting gemstones. A collet is a thin, round band of metal that goes right the way around the stone.
ENGRAVED The process of decorating a hard surface, often metal, from the exterior with incised lines.
GOLD A metallic element which is the most ductile and malleable of all metals, and impervious to corrosion, thus making it ideal for use in jewellery. Pure gold is yellow in colour. It is usually mixed with other metals, such as copper and silver, to create an alloy, such as white gold or rose gold. The unit of measurement used to express the percentage of pure gold in the alloy is the carat, for example '18 carat gold'.
A signet or seal ring is one that features a central incised decoration, either engraved directly into bezel of the ring or into a flat gemstone. The signet ring is one of the earliest forms of jewellery, originally a utilitarian object used to authenticate documents by impressing the seal into wax or clay, thus transferring the owner’s name or symbol.
Some of the earliest known signet rings were made by the Minoans in the sixteenth century BCE, though cylindrical signets set as pendants were used by the Sumerians as early as 5000 BCE. The ancient Egyptians wore signets rings with raised engraved metal bezels as well as rings set with hardstone scarabs which rotate to reveal a signet on the bottom of the stone. The ancient Greeks also embraced the practice of wearing signet rings, most commonly set with gems carved with gods and goddesses, though they are thought to have become primarily decorative in purpose. The ancient Romans, reinstated signets for sealing purposes. The use of seal rings continued throughout the Byzantine Empire, though they were made primarily in metal as knowledge of gem carving had been largely lost, and Christian symbolism replaced the Greco-Roman deities.