The conquests of Alexander the Great(356 - 323 B.C.) transformed the Greek world. Hellenistic influence spread from Italy to Persia, and was particularly concentrated in the Antigonid Kingdom of Macedonia, the Seleucid Kingdom of Syria and the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. It was in Egypt, during the fascinating period of Hellenization, that the cameo centerpiece of this very handsome ring was made. The Roman custom of engraving portraits of royalty on rings has its origins in the Ptolemaic Dynasties. Such rings were engraved with the likeness of the reigning sovereign intended as seals for official documents. This would account for the ring's large size, probably equal to the present gold setting. Rings were also given as rewards for loyal service and as marks of honor. Ptolemaic coins show the tendency to inc1ude the portrait of bath king and queen; as in this case, which may be Ptolemy II and his wife Arsinoe I. The rarity of this cameo makes the ring very special. Its power is undiminished, as impressive today as when it was made thousands of years ago. Only a person with his own rare gifts and special power could wear this ring with the grandeur it deserves.