Gold Signet Ring with Virgin and Child
- 6th–7th century
- Overall: 1 5/16 x 15/16 x 1/2 in. (3.3 x 2.4 x 1.3 cm)
band: 15/16 x 5/16 x 1/16 in. (2.4 x 0.8 x 0.1 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
- Accession Number:
As Christianity became the dominant religion in Byzantine society, Christian imagery was increasingly found on jewelry. Crosses appear by the fifth century; the Virgin Mary, saints, angels, and other holy figures became popular in the sixth century. The images were thought to protect the wearer, aid in prayers, and even perform miracles.