This Ancient Sassanian hematite seal has been
mounted in a modern 18 karat gold ring.
The Sassanids were kings of Iran from 224 - 651
A.D. At its greatest extent, their empire stretched
from Syria to India, and from Iberia to the Persian
Gulf. Major campaigns were launched against
them by the Romans, including the emperor
Valerian who was defeated and captures (A.D.
260) by Sapor I. A characteristic of Sassanid
ideology was the development of the idea of
"Iran” with its own political and cultural identity.
Their empire came to an end when the Arabs
conquered Mesopotamia and Iran.
Zoroastrianism was the most important religion
and this unusual intaglio may have a relationship
to that faith. The scorpion has been a potent
symbol for centuries in many cultures. Though
great empires disintegrate in time, collapsing
into dust, this handsome intaglio has survived to
grace the hand of someone with the taste and
refinement to wear something so distinctive.