OPENWORK DOUBLE GEMSTONE RING OF GARNET AND EMERALD
Byzantine Egypt, Alexandria?, 6th – 7th century AD
Gold, garnet and emerald
Weight 10.5 gr., US size 6, UK size L ½
This opus interrasile hoop is oval in shape and hollowed out, and it widens towards the bezel. There the two parts of the hoop are connected by two gold globules and support a bezel with a high conical setting. Set within is an almandine garnet cabochon, framed by a wreath of pearls held by four gold loops. Inserted at the bottom of the hoop is a collet-set emerald cabochon. The openwork is embossed, chiseled, and engraved, and the shoulders are ornamented with lotus-like flowers framed by rope-like borders. This ring’s striking openwork design show a combination of Byzantine and Egyptian styles. This ring’s striking openwork design show a combination of Byzantine and Egyptian styles. With its opus interrasile hoop, colorful gemstones, and wreath of pearls, this ring incorporates many of the elements employed by Byzantine goldsmiths working in Constantinople, but it was most probably made in Alexandria in Egypt.