What Was Roman Jewelry Made Of
What Was Roman Jewelry Made Of?
Some traits and fancies of present human behavior pattern can be traced to the beginning of the human civilization era. The written records, relics and remains excavated from the different archeological sites of historical importance give us significant information about the lifestyles, customs, preferences, tastes, etc. of the people living in the ancient times. The jewelry items recovered from these ancient sites make us wonder that the lure for adornment and display of wealth has been there for ages in the humanity. Roman Empire is considered to be one of the most powerful and geographically extended kingdoms in the ancient history. There are ample historical evidence to support that the Roman civilization was indeed one of the most developed ancient societies.
The use of jewelry is not limited to ancient Roman society; the societies of Greek, Celtic, Egyptian and other peer civilizations of those times were also using various jewelry items. Since the Romans annexed several neighboring territories, and their dominance continued for centuries at the stretch, the relics of Roman jewelry show confluence of Greek and Celtic styles as well. The use of a variety of precious stones and gold in their jewelry highlights the extensive resource at their command.
Interestingly, no transformational change in the jewelry styles has taken place over the centuries. Like present times, the use of jewelry items like necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, chains, etc. was extremely popular some two millennium back. The use of precious metals like Gold and silver in jewelry making continues till date. The craft of jewelry making required skilled workmanship and the jewelry relics of the times exhibit that the artisans of the time were highly creative in technique and dexterity. The art of melting metals and making dies was also known and used to make necklaces and pendants with artwork. The bracelets, both solid and hollow types, with artistic carvings recovered from these excavation sites reemphasize the glorious heights of craftsmanship of artisans.
Gold and silver were used in different jewelry pieces made in those times while the use of bronze and other alloy metals was also prevalent. Iron rings have also been found which were used by lower ordinary sections of the society. Elite men in Roman society mostly used rings in their fingers as jewelry pieces. These rings could be signet rings or those studded with precious gems like pearls, emeralds, turquoise, etc. Use of gems and semi-precious stones like Garnets, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Feldspar, and Amethyst in jewelry making was prevalent among the masses.
While the use of jewelry by women from the wealthy section of the society was common, the men used ornately decorated jewelry broaches very frequently to keep the folds of their robes. The breaches of the ruling class were made of gold and studded with stones to exude the power and wealth. The bulla was a special jewelry worn by young Roman boys of the affluent families to protect them from curses and provide prosperity. The bulla was usually golden neck chains with pouches which contained talismans and amulets for the protection of young Roman boys.