Making Roman Jewelry


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It’s so addicting… literally the day I came home from the competition where I presented my paper, I started making this necklace, based on a 1st-3rd century Fayum mummy portrait from Roman-controlled Egypt. The color isn’t showing up well but I used dark green aventurine beads, and they look *just like* the ones in the painting.

Here are a few more I re-created:

Shells closeupIMG_20170224_100006183 cropped.jpeg I HAD to remake this hemisphere & shell necklace from Pompeii, even if I had to wire together bit of earring findings to do it! Mine’s on the right. Of all my little projects, this one is the least convincing, but I love it anyway. I hope to learn real metalsmithing techniques and create a better one some day.

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This earring style – HUGELY popular in Pompeii in 79CE – is called “crotalia” (rattle) because of the sound they make when you wear them. They have two or three swinging beads each. Mine are on the right. I discussed the security earwire in this post.

bfab06cb734c8cce57ee56248c4367f6 IMG_20170218_180014435   Left: ancient. Right: Mine


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Left: Roman/Parthian necklace 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. Carnelian. Right: My versions in garnet (28 ga wire) and Vesuvianite / idocrase (24 ga wire).

If you like these, check out my paper for lots more re-creations, details, and a basic guide to making your own! I’ll be teaching this as a class at some upcoming events.


About Sharon Rose, LAc, MSAOM

Acupuncturist, medical massage therapist, historian, scientist, road-tripper, geek, LARP & board gamer, food fan, Roman fanatic, belly-laugher.
This entry was posted in Jewelry, Recreating history. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Making Roman Jewelry

  1. Pingback: Hercules Knot Jewelry | ROMANA SUM

  2. alizaunde says:

    Keep up the awesome work- I love this blog!


  3. Pingback: Athenaeum | ROMANA SUM

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