Gold Scarab Ring
Ancient Egyptian turquoise faience scarab (mounted on swivel bezel in modern gold ring). From the end of the third millennium B.C., the scarab beetle served as an amulet in Egypt where it represented the sun god. 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.
Scarab rings with thicker hoops developed during the Second Intermediate Period. The scarab itself was mounted with a gold wire running through its centre on which it could swivel. As well as gold, silver and electrum were used. They were popular during the New Kingdom period and were worn by both men and women.
The scarab rings served as a connection to the divine and were believed to bring blessings and ward off evil spirits.
In ancient Egypt, scarab rings held significant cultural and religious symbolism. The scarab beetle was associated with the sun god Re and represented rebirth and regeneration.
Scarab rings generally incorporated an inscription on the base of the scarab but not always. The bezel design was developed in the late Old Kingdom as a signet or an amulet with the scarab representing the god Re. They were often worn for protection and good luck.
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.
New Kingdom, 18th to 20th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1069 BC. Dimensions: Diameter: 2.2 cm (7/8 in.); Diameter including bezel: 1.2 cm (1/2 in.). Bequest of Eva Catherine Brown. Now in the Cleveland Museum of Art. 1936.653