Men only wore rings. One ring was standard, but many ignored this rule and wore a ring on every finger.
The ring had a specific purpose as it had the man’s seal on it. Documents were not signed in roman times so the ring was used to seal the document. This then provided the authenticity of the document.
Wealthy men’s rings were made of Gold, however commoners (plebians) rings were made of Iron.
Roman women wore many items of jewellery. These included;
- Armlets (often in the shape of a snake, worn on the wrist and upper arms)
- Brooches (Fibulae)
The brooch (Fibulae) were worn by both men and women as they were a necessary article used to fasten clothing, the same principle as a safety-pin would be used today.
Wealthy women had their jewellery made out of Gold, Silver and Bronze and would include the use of precious and semiprecious stones including; Sapphires, Emeralds, Turquoise, Topaz, Pearls, Amethysts and Garnets. Their style of jewellery would often show their wealth, power and status.
Jewellery of the lower classes was normally made of Bronze and coloured glass.
Regardless of the wealth of the woman, the jewellery was often very bulky and highly decorative and ornate.
Jewellery was also popular with children and was used for special purposes, as protection against illness and to ward off evil spirits.