Learn about Roman glass

A Piece Of History

Learn about this magical material and our fabulous Roman glass jewelry by artisan Efrat Saada-Limor.

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A Piece of History

Did you know all Roman glass used in jewelry originally belonged to an ancient vase, perfume bottle, jug or vessel? In fact, the pieces of Roman glass incorporated into our collection are over 1,500 years old dating back as early as the year 27 B.C. and originate from products created in the Roman Empire. Every piece carries a piece of history with it. This glass was originally part of a vase, perfume bottle, plate or other items used by people during the Roman Empire when glass production reached new heights through the development of glass-blowing technology.

Incorporating this glass into our jewelry collections starts with the careful selection of glass fragments from archaeological excavations. The glass is then cleaned, cut, and shaped until the desired shape and sizes are created. Finally, these moments of history are set into sterling silver to create a unique, one-of-a-kind look. 

Glass, in the form we know it today, was first known to be created around 2200 B.C. in what is now northwestern Iran. It is formed when sand (silica), soda (alkali), and lime are fused at high temperatures. The color of the glass can be altered by adjusting the temperature in the furnace and by adding specific metal oxides to the glass such as cobalt for dark blue or tin for opaque white. 

Even though this art form pre-dates the Roman Empire, it was during the time Rome ruled that almost all of the major glass-art techniques, which are still used by glass artists today, were invented. The most significant technique developed was the invention of free-blowing which allowed artisans to create shapes of glass never before seen. The Romans were obsessed with it and it is estimated that over 13 billion pieces of glassware were produced during the seven centuries that the Roman Empire reigned over the Mediterranean World. 

Roman Glass Jewelry

One of the things we love about Roman glass is it may look different from piece-to-piece due to its unique and historical nature. You will notice that the glass is of various shapes, thickness and color and this is because each object it originated from was hand blown. This makes each gem unique, like its wearer!

The glass is of various shapes, thickness and color and this is because each object was hand blown and is unique.

Efrat Saada-Limor was enamored by the history associated with this unique glass and the fact that she could inlay a piece of history in each jewel. When we asked which was her favorite piece, she pointed to the Augusta Praetoria Pendant stating that the necklace houses a large piece of Roman glass while still having a delicate, artisan look created by the organic leaf motifs and hammered silver.

The Augusta Praetoria Pendant

Because of the delicate nature of these historical artifacts, please make sure to treat your Roman glass jewelry as you would any other fine jewel. Although Efrat seals her glass designs with lacquer to preserve it, water could, over time, dissolve the seal which could cause damage to the glass. We do recommend removing your jewelry before washing or swimming.

Efrat’s new arrivals inspired by the Mediterranean Sea launch August 2019.

Efrat’s new collection launches August 2019.

Efrat’s new newest collection was inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. Each piece, named after an ancient Roman city, features multi-colored Roman glass with gold plating, pearls, and deep blue stones accents, like lapis. Shop her new arrivals when they launch August 12.

Shop Roman Glass Jewelry

From her travels to Thailand to sitting on her porch at her home, Efrat finds inspiration from just about everywhere. Get To Know Efrat in our Q+A.

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