Ancient Roman silver and lapis lazuli gem finger ring

Ancient Roman silver and lapis lazuli gem finger ring

Code: 11811


This is an ancient Roman silver finger ring, dating to the 2nd century A.D. It is classified as a Henig type IIIThe ring is set with a wonderful lapis lazuli gem of a polished cabochon. The Roman naturalist Pliny wrote that lapis lazuli is “opaque and sprinkled with specks of gold”.  Because the stone combines the blue of the heavens and golden glitter of the sun, it was emblematic of success in the old Jewish tradition. This is a Henig type III finger ring and can be compared to a number of silver rings from a 2nd century jeweller's hoard found at Snettisham, Norfolk (Johns 1997: 95 - 99) perhaps originally intended for an intaglio but never completed. 

OBJECT: Finger Ring


DATE: c. 2nd century AD.

MATERIAL: Silver & lapis-lazuli

RING SIZE:    5  (US)     J 1/2  (UK)

SIZE: 18.51mm x 23.98mm x 3.68mm x 11.04mm (gem 12.46mm x 9.77mm) 

WEIGHT:  7.67 grams

PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection, London.