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Byzantine gold icon ring. The central flat circular plaque engraved and with niello, finely depicting the image of Christ with halo between two crosses, all to a slim fully rounded wire shank. Tested yellow gold, approximately 4.9 grams in weight, circa 6th - 10th century, accompanied by an Oxford Labs X-ray fluorescence report stating the composition of the metal.
By this point in time, the art of glyptography - engraving an intaglio onto a hardstone - had been virtually lost. The new technique was to engrave or niello the design directly onto the metal plaque. See Scarisbrick, D., 'Rings: Jewellery of Power, Love and Loyalty', 2007, p.134.
We know that the figure depicted on this ring is Christ because of the type of halo shown. Christ's halo typically has three triple lines radiating from the head- symbolising the three dogmas of the Trinity. Other persons such as saints, the Virgin Mary, Byzantine Emperors and angels are usually depicted with a plain halo.
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