Ancient Romans used a wide variety of materials in their jewelry, from gold to glass beads. They embraced the culture of other peoples and utilized natural resources, including turquoise and coral. Using a vast network of trade routes, the Romans were able to obtain semiprecious stones and exotic materials. In addition, they discovered ways to colour plain glass, adding a variety of minerals to the molten glass. These pieces of ancient jewelry show the wealth and prestige of the Roman people.
Romans also wore brooches to attach clothing and accentuate their style. Gold and silver jewelry was the trademark of the ruling class, while less expensive metals were worn by the poor. Men wore bracelets, rings, and torques, and often had cameo portraits carved into them. Romans also wore leather bracelets. The ritual of placing jewelry on one’s body was similar to our morning routine today. Today, many Romans wear jewelry to signify their status in society.
Unlike today, the ancient Romans wore a variety of rings. The emperor, senators, and bureaucrats wore gold rings, while commoners wore iron rings. Rings were often layered, with each ring indicating a different important event in a person’s life. As a result, ancient Romans wore a large array of jewelry and were proud of it. Even babies wore jewelry.