Gold Earring

Date: 400–500

Culture: Ostrogothic (?)

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: Overall: 1 x 1 1/8 x 3/8 in. (2.5 x 2.9 x 1 cm)
1 3/16in. (3cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Gold

Credit Line: Purchase, 1898

Accession Number: 98.11.94


Hoop earrings with fourteen-sided beads derived from late Roman jewelry and were adopted by eastern Germanic women in the fifth century. Versions have been found made of silver and gold, some with simple unadorned beads, others inlaid with semiprecious stones or glass. This earing, along with its pair (acc. no. 98.11.95), has granulated ornament and a hoop made of two twisted wires, representing a sophisticated and delicate example of the goldsmith's art.