This is an ancient Roman carnelian gemstone intaglio, dating to the 1st - 2nd century A.D. The gem is nicely cut with an image of the goddess Minerva (Athena), helmeted and holding a shield. Such a gem would have once been set into a silver finger ring, worn by a legionary or centurion, used to seal and authenticate letters and military dispatches. Minerva was a military goddess, associated with planning, thought and strategy - as opposed to Mars who was brute force, strongest force wins the day!
Today the gem has survived in excellent condition, ideal to be remounted into a gold signet ring or added to your collection.
DATE: c. 1st - 2nd century A.D.
SIZE: 9.29mm x 6.68mm x 2.25mm
WEIGHT: 0.18 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European private collection.
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