The Roman Empire, circa 2nd century A.D.
This heavy solid ring is cast in almost pure gold. The ring features a lapis lazuli intaglio finely engraved with a winged Eros (God of Love and Sexuality) armed with a bow.
The lapis intaglio is set in a bezel and flanked by ribbed shoulders with deep grooves resembling fluted shafts of the classical columns. An ancient Roman intaglio ring with ribbed shoulders from the J.Paul Getty Museum is illustrated in Ancient Gems And Finger Rings written by Jeffrey Spier, page 126, no. 335.
Weight of the ring is 28.36 grams.
Metal analysis: 99.63% gold and 0.37 % silver.
The gold purity of this ring is similar to the level of purity of the Roman gold coin – aureus.
Lapis Lazuli was mined in Afghanistan. It was an exotic and highly prized gem in antiquity.
This particular gemstone has a rare vivid blue color with beautiful tiny gold inclusions of pyrite. The blue color is unusually even with virtually no gray areas, which is rare.
The small size of the gem, its vibrant color, and fine engraving of Eros, all indicate that it was a very valuable carved gem in antiquity that deserved the bold and chunky gold setting.
The lapis lazuli intaglio measures 9 x 7 mm (almost 3/8 x 5/16 in.)
Width of the ring at the widest point is 12 mm (7/16 in.)
Approximate ring size 10 – 10.25
All original, intact and wearable.