Why Did Romans Wear Jewelry And What Did They WearThe use of common phrase “Rome was not built in a day” amply summarizes the importance and magnificence of Rome as well as Romans in history. The annals of world history can never be complete without a long chapter dedicated on Romans. Furthermore, the vast geographical boundary of erstwhile Roman Empire, which crossed even modern continents, has greatly influenced different cultures around them. Ancient Roman civilization was high on the ladder of development scale of those days. Whether it was science, trade, knowledge or culture; the historical documents and architectural remains of the time give strong evidence of their superlative magnificence. Many traits of human behavior remain the same over time. The use of jewelry during those times was a symbol of power and prosperity; it is valid to date. The relics of Roman jewelry found and preserved in different museums display that the craftsmanship and the art of jewelry making were hugely developed in Roman society. Like all cultures, Roman Empire had also witnessed its highs and lows. The early Roman society scarcely used Gold in their jewelry. Gold was not found in the area and was precious. It was imperative to use gold for trade with neighboring or far away kingdoms rather than block it on personal adornment. However, over time when the Roman Empire saw its rise and its expansion reached its pinnacle, the use of Gold in jewelry making became customary. The general affluence of the society, as well as availability of Gold and other precious stones from annexed territories, made it popular in jewelry making in the Roman society.
The available written historical records, portraits, relics etc of the time show that jewelry items like necklaces, rings, earrings, stone studded jewelry, etc. were highly popular with the nobles and the elite members of the society. It was seen as a symbol of status and exuded power. The influence of Greek artisans and their styles in ancient Roman jewelry items is very obvious. One of the typical jewelry items popular amongst Roman men folk was the brooch. Artistically created, well decorated and stone studded brooches of gold or alloy metals were functionally used to keep the folds of their loosely worn attire in place. Rings were perhaps the only other popular pieces of jewelry used by men. The use of amulets, talismans, etc. were more common amongst men. The fashionable examples of jewelry adorned by noble women like distinctive bracelets with gold spheres, dangling earrings with gold wire suspended precious gems, S-shaped pearl studded earrings etc. have been recovered from archeological collections which depict the high grade of craftsmanship. The artistic carvings and creatively crafted crowns of the time using precious stones and pearls also demonstrate the highly evolved techniques employed by jewelry artisans of the time. The confluence of various neighboring cultures and countries like Greeks, Celts, Egyptians which were annexed or had trade relations with Romans can also be seen in the styles of jewelry pieces. Similarly, the influence of the Roman style of jewelry was also imbibed by these cultures in the course of time.