A gold ring with intaglio, possibly depicting Augustus Caesar, fetches £117,000 at Fellows auction

Found among a group of other gold jewellery, the ring soared past its sale estimate, making it one of the most expensive rings.

April 19, 2023: A spectacular, a carved gold ring with a red garnet, smashed its sale estimate by 450 times, and became one of the most interesting pieces of jewelry to be sold at the fine jewelry auction by Fellows. 

Augustus Caesar ring

The precious ring with intaglio was auctioned at Fellows alongside 10 other intaglio pieces, with an estimate of £150 – 200, but it eventually sold for £117,000. Intaglio refers to the antique technique of carving into a gem or metal to leave a hollow impression, often used for sealing documents. 

Set in gold, the ring features an intricate intaglio – possibly of Roman emperor Augustus Caesar's head – in profile. Augustus Caesar was the first and most powerful emperor of ancient Rome, ruling from 27BC until 14AD. During his reign, Caesar restored peace and prosperity to the Roman state and shaped a new Roman empire.

Augustus Caesar ring

Business Development Manager at Fellows, Nicola Whittaker, said, “I am delighted by the result from our Fine Jewelry auction. Not only did we achieve an amazing price for our vendor, we had the opportunity to handle an extremely interesting piece of jewelry history. It is rare to see such an intricately carved piece in such fine condition and it was a privilege to offer the ring for sale in our auction.”

- By Pritha Debroy

Post your comment

    We encourage thoughtful discussion, debate and differing viewpoints, with the understanding that all comments must be civil and respectful. We encourage you to remain on topic and to be mindful that the comments are public. We do not permit messages selling products or promoting commercial or other ventures. Upon request of individuals named in comments, some comments may also be removed. We reserve the right—but assume no obligation—to delete comments, and report offenders who do not follow the code.