ROMAN OR BYZANTINE RING WITH DOUBLE-BEZEL SET WITH A TOURMALINE AND AN EMERALD
Roman Empire or Byzantium, 4th-5th century AD
Gold, tourmaline and emerald
Weight 7.8 gr.; circumference 61.64 mm.; US size 9 ¾; UK size T ½
A polished pink tourmaline in cabochon in a closed box-setting is framed by openwork arches. On one side is a protruding stud with an emerald encased in a bowl-like setting surrounded by twisted and beaded wire. The D-section hoop is rounded on the exterior and fl at on the interior where it joins the shallow box-bezel. Ever experimental and driven by a taste for luxury, Roman jewelers often played with diff erent combinations of gemstones (and even paste). Red and green shown here was a favored mix, although an unusual one in a double-bezel ring. The tourmaline used here was admired for its intense reddish color. Emeralds were a favored choice of Roman ladies of society, and many double-bezel rings are fashioned out of emeralds as the principal stone, most often accompanied by a pearl.