Happy hunting

Ancient plasma intaglio of the 2nd/3rd century A.D. in a modern ring

Roman intaglios in transparent green stones are far rarer than those in orange carnelian or opaque jasper. The stone we see here is translucent green. In gem research, the term "plasma" has come to be used for this material, after a term used in antiquity for corresponding green gems. Behind this word is the idea that the stone is the mother rock of emeralds, literally the rock that forms the emerald (gr. πλάσμα, the formed). The center of the ring here is such an intaglio in plasma, depicted is a standing man. He appears to be dancing, at first glance: At the second, however, it appears that he holds a bow and arrow in his hand. Is it a hunter who is depicted here? A god, perhaps Apollo, or the messenger of love Cupid? It is not quite clear - and so the ring offers several possibilities to understand it: As a jewel that helps to hunt - or to win victories! This intaglio of the 2nd or 3rd century AD came to us from a collection in Cologne. The stone is set in a simple frame of gold, which was created in the years around 1800; at that time the gem was part of a larger piece of jewellery. Our goldsmith has forged a ring rail of high quality gold to go with the classical setting, so that the Roman signet stone can once again be worn as a ring. In this way, the antique gem can be a stylish companion. On the concept of "plasma" see Erika Zwierlein-Diehl: Antike Gemmen und ihr Nachleben, Berlin/New York 2007, p. 307f.

For centuries, the possession of antique cameos and gems was an aspiration of almost all great collections, from the Green Vault in Dresden to the treasury of Rudolf II and large private collections such as that of Baron Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries produced numerous large imprint collections of ancient Roman and Greek seal stones and gems, which were able to represent the ancient imagery of glyptic almost in its entirety. Due to the great travels undertaken by young nobles and wealthy citizens during this period, the use of gems and cameos changed in the early 19th century to larger forms of jewelry, which were classic and sought-after souvenirs from Italy, cut in stone, shell, or Vesuvius lava.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.