Gold box ring surmounted by a scarab

Period: Classical

Date: ca.330–310 B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: gold

Dimensions: H.: 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)

Classification: Gold and Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, Schultz Foundation Gift, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.226


From the end of the third millennium B.C., the scarab beetle served as an amulet in Egypt where it represented the sun god. In the Greek world, beginning in the sixth century B.C. it became the predominant type of gem, cut in carnelian and other hard stones. The scarab integrated into a gold ring appears in the fourth century B.C. The articulation of the insect and the embellishment of the box reveal craftsmanship of the highest order.