BYZANTINE GOLD RING WITH CRUCIFORM MONOGRAM AND INSCRIPTION
Early Byzantine, Eastern Mediterranean, 7th century
Weight 16.4 gr.; bezel 10.7 x 11.1 mm.; circumference 64.21 mm.; US size 10 ¾; UK size V ¼
A large tubular hoop soldered to a calyx-style bezel composed of six petals make up this unusually heavy gold ring. The bezel is engraved with a Greek cruciform monogram inlaid with niello in the center. The monogram consists of the Greek letters Δ, E, Θ, O, P, V(=Y), and ω. The monogram can be resolved as “ΘΕΟΔωΡΟΥ” meaning “of Theodor” or possibly, as “ΔωΡΟΘΕΟΥ” meaning “of Dorotheos.” This type of cruciform monogram replaced the older box-shaped monogram in the 520s, but it is unusual to find it inscribed on a calyx-style bezel.