GOLD RING WITH A CRUCIFORM MONOGRAM AND INSCRIPTION
Early Byzantine, c. 550-600 AD
Circumference 55.76 mm.; weight 7.5 gr.; US size 7.5; UK size P
The hoop is a solid cast cylinder soldered at the back of the slightly oval bezel. The bezel is engraved with a Greek cruciform monogram in its center and an inscription on the perimeter reading clockwise from the small cross at the top of the bezel. The monogram reads ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΥ which can be resolved as the man’s name (of) Stephen. The inscription is ΚΥΡΙΕ ΒΟΗθΙ Α[…], or “+ Lord help A[…]ΙΑ.” The monogram and inscription are inlaid with niello which has fallen out of some of the letters.