Roman Intaglio Ring Capricorn, Gold

Roman finger ring made from solid gold with multicoloured intaglio in Nicolo technique after a find from Pompeii. The original was a gold ring with a carnelian intaglio, found in the square of the amphitheatre near a group of skeletons.

6-8 weeks
As low as €669.00
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Roman Intaglio Ring With Capricorn

Roman finger ring made from solid gold with multicoloured intaglio in Nicolo technique after a find from Pompeii. The original was a gold ring with a carnelian intaglio, found in the square of the amphitheatre near a group of skeletons.

The intaglio comes from a master workshop that can draw on years of experience in dealing with antique techniques and patterns. In collaboration with my replica workshop, wonderful individual pieces of jewellery of the highest quality are created.

A ring like this will accompany you for many years and inspire you with its authentic motif!

As the gem and the finger ring are made by hand in your individual size, you can expect a delivery time of around 4-5 weeks.

This wonderful piece of jewellery will be delivered in a gift box with certificate.


The motif of the Capricorn

Finger rings with a capricon motif are quite common, and comparable finds can be found in many antiquities collections.

The astrological symbol of Capricorn (Capricorn) in connection with Emperor Augustus is historically significant and refers to a particular association connected with Augustus and his reign.

Emperor Augustus, originally called Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was the first Roman emperor and reigned from 27 BC to 14 AD. He played a decisive role in the foundation and consolidation of the Roman Empire and contributed significantly to the stabilisation of Roman politics and society.

In 27 BC, Augustus was given the title "Augustus" by the Senate, which means "the exalted" or "the honourable". This title was intended to emphasise his exalted position and his extraordinary power. The motif of the capricorn played a special role in this context. The capricorn motif was used on coins and various artistic depictions of Augustus, and military units deployed under Augustus also carried the capricorn in their field insignia.

The use of the Capricorn symbol on coins and in art was intended to symbolise the connection between Augustus and the god Saturn (who was associated with Capricorn) and the idea of the return of a golden era. Augustus sought to stabilise and rejuvenate the Roman Empire and end the period of civil wars and unrest. The depiction of the capricorn could refer to this idea of restoring order and stability in Rome, which was associated with Augustus' reign.

Overall, the link between the Capricorn motif and Emperor Augustus was part of his propaganda and an attempt to consolidate his power and legitimacy as emperor by associating himself with mythological and astrological symbols.


Gem rings in antiquity

Gem rings, i.e. finger rings with inlaid, decorated gemstones, are among the most numerous and varied pieces of archaeological jewellery from antiquity;

Gems are divided into two types: the sculpted raised motif, the cameo, and the engraved itaglio. Agate, carnelian, onyx or other precious stones were used as materials. Particularly popular and beautiful to look at due to their multicoloured nature are colour-layered stones using the Nicolo technique, in which the engraved motif stands out in a different colour. 

Gem rings were not only used as pieces of jewellery, but also had various practical uses and symbolic meanings:

Signet rings

Some Roman gem rings were used as seal rings. The engraved gem was pressed into hot wax or clay to seal documents or letters. The seal showed the individual symbol or name of the owner.

Amulets and talismans

Many gems had religious or protective symbols or inscriptions that were worn as amulets or talismans to bring good luck or protect against evil influences.

Status symbols

Some wealthy Romans wore gem rings as status symbols to show their wealth and social status. These rings could have elaborate gemstones and ornate engravings.


Of course, many Roman gem rings were simply used as pieces of jewellery. They were often prized for their ornate engravings and the beauty of the gemstones used. Men also often wore elaborate and eye-catching finger rings.

Roman gem rings are also important historical artefacts as they give us insights into Roman art, culture and history. The engravings on the gems can depict mythological scenes, portraits of famous people, historical events and other important motifs that were significant to the Romans. These rings are often found in museums and collections today and are valued as important testimonies to Roman civilisation.


Production of gem rings in antiquity

The intaglios were produced in an elaborate handcrafted process:

Selection of the raw material

Firstly, the artisan selected the appropriate semi-precious stone to create the intaglio. Different types of stone had different degrees of hardness and colours, which influenced the selection of the right material.

Shaping the stone

The selected stone was roughly moulded into the desired shape, often by sawing, grinding or scraping. This made it possible to shape the rough contour of the future intaglio. A powder or granulate of hard corundum stone, which was mixed with olive oil and used in various grain sizes and is harder than the jewellery stone, was probably used as an abrasive and cutting agent.

Drawing of the design

The artist sketched the intended design on the flat surface of the stone. This sketch served as a template for the actual engraving.

Engraving of the design

Using special tools, the artist began to cut or engrave the motif into the stone. Presumably, a kind of lathe was used, which was driven by a bow and had an engraving point attached to it. The use of metal points and corundum powder is obvious, but with the means available it was an extremely lengthy and strenuous process to cut the motif into the stone. The artist always had to precisely control the depth and width of the engravings. Depending on the desired effect, this could take weeks or months. 
Even in antiquity, the quality of the craftsmanship varied from simple rough line patterns to small masterpieces in which every little detail of the motif was exquisitely crafted.

Polishing and finishing

Once the design was finalised, the stone was thoroughly polished to make the engravings and the stone itself shine. This was often achieved with fine sand, pumice stone or other abrasive materials.

Setting in jewellery or a utility item

The finished intaglio was set into a piece of jewellery, a signet ring or another everyday object to protect and present it.

The quality of an intaglio depended on the skill of the artist, the choice of material and the precision of the engraving. These artefacts were often highly prized for their artistic and craftsmanship quality as well as their historical or symbolic value. Intaglio artefacts were not only produced in antiquity, but also remained popular in later eras right up to the modern day.

More Information
Delivery time 6-8 weeks
weight 0.008000
Era Romans
Material Gold
Kind of replica Rings With Intaglios
scope of delivery Delivery in a jewellery case with certificate
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