Muscle Play

Roman Hercules gem in layered agate, 2nd century in later gold ring

For centuries, possessing antique cameos and gems was the claim of almost all great collections, from the Green Vault in Dresden to the treasury of Rudolf II to large private collections such as that of Baron von Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries also produced numerous large imprint collections of antique sealstones and gems, which were able to represent the antique imagery of glyptic almost in its entirety. Rarely are antique jewelers fortunate enough to be able to offer Roman antique gems that are not only beautiful and full of symbolism, but wearable to this day. Therefore, in this offering, we are pleased to present you with a ring that showcases a genuine Roman gem from the 2nd to 3rd century AD. We see the profile of a bearded man with strong facial features and massive shoulders cut in two-tone lagestone. The cut is executed in simple lines and appears powerful and calm. The demigod Hercules (Greek: Heracles), famous for his strength, who is depicted in our intaglio with his typical, powerful full beard, is a legendary hero of Greek antiquity. The gem engraver of the Roman imperial period depicted him with magnificent hair. Hercules is the subject of numerous stories illustrating his cleverness and strength, making him one of the most important figures in ancient mythology. Homer describes him in both the Odyssey and the Illiad and recounts his deeds. The present gem, when it came to us, was part of an only fragmentarily preserved gem bracelet of the years around 1800, composed of various ancient stones. In the era of classicism, antiquities such as antique gems were highly sought after by the educated classes of Europe as a sign of humanistic education. The antique gem on display here comes from the old Cologne collection which we were able to acquire. We have decided to let the ring stones contained therein become rings again, because that is what they were created for. Our goldsmith has preserved the classicistic gold setting of the stone and added high quality gold to the ring band. The result is an exquisite piece of jewellery with an antique gemstone with almost 2000 years of history, which can also be worn in everyday life. The legendary hero Hercules in particular makes a strong companion - what could possibly go wrong?

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.