Early Christian CHI-RHO Silver Ring - Eastern Roman – Byzantine
Circa 5th Century AD
Diameter: 27 mm – 1” – Weight: 13.12gm
Ring Size: 6 1/2
The large oval bezel displays an incised design of the early Christian "Chi-Rho" symbol. The band is composed of a single plain loop. This ring was made by the “lost” wax” technique.
The surface shows some areas of oxidization, though it has been polished by a recent owner – an excellent and very early wearable example of Christian symbolism – silver rings of this period are very uncommon, much scarcer than those made with bronze!!!
By the 5th and 6th centuries, the cross had replaced the Chi-Rho as the standard emblem of Christian religious devotion. Its meaning transcended that of the simple monogram to visually recall the crucifixion. The cross was worn by individuals from every social stratum, from the elaborate bejeweled golden cross of the patriarch to the simple crosses of the common man. The word crusade, derived from the Latin crux (cross), is a reference to the biblical injunction that Christians carry their cross. During the Byzantine period it was common to wear plain, decorated or stylized crosses as badges, rings, or around the neck.