This genuine ancient Roman seal has been
mounted in a modern 18 karat gold ring.
The art of glyptics, or carving images on colored
precious stones, is probably one of the oldest
known to humanity. Intaglios, gems with an
incised design, were made as early as the fourth
and third millennia B.C. in Mesopotamia and the
Aegean Islands. They exhibit a virtuosity of
execution that suggests an old and stable
tradition rooted in the earliest centuries. The
tools required for carving gems were simple: a
wheel with a belt-drive and a set of drills.
Abrasives were necessary since the minerals
used were too hard for a metal edge. A special
difficulty of engraving intaglios, aside from their
miniature size, was that the master had to work
with a mirror-image in mind.
The goddess of chance, Fortuna, stands wearing
an elegant dress on this ancient Roman intaglio.
She holds two of her attributes: a divine staff and
a cornucopia. This suitable emblem suggests
the bounty that chance is able to bestow upon
the fortunate few. This intaglio demonstrates
the absolute mastery of Roman glyptic
craftsmen. The level of detail and clarity is
stunning considering the limited proportions of
the polished surface of the gemstone and the
difficulty carving such dense, hard material.
Today set in a marvelous 18 Karat gold ring, this
gorgeous piece of jewelry invokes the glories of
Ancient Rome. Wearing this ring reveals a love
for the past and for the timeless beauty of the
Classics. Surely, the goddess Fortuna has
favored anyone so lucky to wear this stunning