Ancient Roman Glass Jewellery
Back in ancient Roman times, the Middle East was known for its glass factories. These factories produced glass vessels as well as raw materials that would be shipped and later used for glassblowing and other glass products. Pieces of ancient Roman glass can still be found along the Old Silk Trade Route – a main trade artery connecting Europe and Asia for the exchange of silk, spices, and other goods.
In this region, glassmakers used sand from nearby rivers or beaches in their production of glass for the Roman Empire. This local sand provided not only glass’s primary ingredient – silica – but also a substantial amount of lime, derived from crushed marine shells, which enhanced the glass’s durability. Local glassmakers were also believed to have burnt sodium-rich plant material in the glass furnaces during production. The mineral content of the sand and plant material would create the various shades of blue-green typical of these lovely, historical treasures.
Another special characteristic of the Ancient Glass is its iridescence and luster, which only the passing of time can bestow. This beautiful, patina colouring is a result of thousands of years of exposure to the sun, water, and earth in the extreme climates of the Middle East.
Some of the Ancient Roman glass pieces used in our jewellery are pieces of vessels or other finished products, while others are believed to be fragments of the raw material, destined for Venice or elsewhere in the Roman Empire, to be used for glassblowing, etc. This amazing material makes for incredible, one-of-a-kind jewellery, that is like having a living piece of history!
Learn more about where the ancient glass pieces come from in the videos below.