Roman gold and garnet finger ring Guiraud type 3

Roman gold and garnet finger ring Guiraud type 3

Code: 11631

£985.00 Approx $1334.69, €1105.5

This is an ancient Roman gold finger ring of a Guiraud type 3, which dates to the end of the 2nd and first three-quarters of the 3rd century (1989, 185). This example is still set with the original cabochon natural garnet gemstone in a colleted bezel. The sides of the bezel are worn but the gem is solid and tightly rubbed with no movement. Such gems were some of the most esteemed and valuable red gemstones in Antiquity. Theophrastos of Eresos, Aristotle’s successor of the philosophical school in Athens and author of the first known mineralogical book Peri Lithon (On Stones), reported on the value of garnet, called anthrax (“charcoal”) in Greek, in Hellenistic times: even a small stone was worth 40 gold staters weighing about 10 troy ounces. He also mentioned seaports that delivered these precious stones: Carthage in Africa, Miletus in Asia Minor, and Massalia in Europe.

OBJECT: Finger Ring


DATE: c. 2nd - 3rd century AD

MATERIAL: Gold and garnet

RING SIZE:    3 1/2  (US)       G 1/4  (UK)

SIZE: 20mm x 18mm x 1mm (bezel 9mm x 8mm x 5mm)

WEIGHT:  1.23 grams

PROVENANCE: Formerly in a Japanese private collection, acquired before 1970