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Rings were Extremely Popular among the Romans
There were certain rules in the fashion of rings which were strictly observed. Plain signets and bronze rings were worn on either hand, but rings set with stones were considered effeminate if worn on the right hand. Gold rings could be worn on certain occasions, but they were set aside for iron signet rings when one attended a funeral. Wealthy Romans had rings that fit the seasons, with thin ones for summer and large imposing ones for winter. These large rings were most often hollow and could be easily crushed. Annulus natalitus were Roman birthday rings, only to be worn to celebrate ones birthday. It was also the custom for the matron of a roman household to wear a ring with a small key attached. This was a symbol of her authority over the house. By the middle of the first century, the fashion was to wear an extravagant amount of jewelry. Rings fit into this fashion by being worn on every finger, with different sized for each section of the finger.

Rings worn simply for beauty became established in the eighteenth century. Rings became the vogue, especially after the development of the marquise setting. This gave the jeweler the opportunity to set in the bezel large cameos of Wedgwood, jasper gems and rare clusters of diamonds arranged in oval or oblong shapes.


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