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Ancient Roman Glass - The History


Roman glass jewelry is a unique recycling of the elements and history.  

Roman glass is the result of a stunning piece of historic craftsmanship dating back 2,000 years to the time of the Roman Empire. In 63 BC, the Romans conquered the Syro-Palestinian area and returned to Rome with skilled glass makers. Before then, glass was available only to the wealthy and was manufactured by core forming, casting, cutting and grinding. With the invention of the glass blowing around 50 BC, glass instantly became available to the less wealthy public. The Roman glass industry rapidly developed over a couple of generations during the first half of the first century A.D. Glass vessels became commonplace throughout the empire and were exported to places as far away as Scandinavia and the Far East. The people of the Roman Empire used more glass than any other ancient civilization. 

At the height of its popularity glass was present in nearly every aspect of daily Roman life. Small boxes and bottles were used to hold toiletries, cosmetics, oils, medicines, herbs, and perfumes. Merchants and traders packed, shipped, and sold food products and other goods across the Mediterranean in glass bottles and jars of all shapes and sizes. Glass was used for elaborate floor and wall mosaics, mirrors, and windowpanes in public baths to prevent drafts. Dinner tables were laden with sparkling glass bowls and beakers in every color, holding wine, fruit, and herb-infused olive oils. 

Ancient Israel was one of the largest glass producers of the Roman Empire with its large stretches of sandy dunes and beaches. Roman glass was made by using sand, alkali, sodium carbonate, and metal coloring agents and was formed with seaweed and lime. Roman glass making was a high art, producing items in a large range of colors, patterns and complex techniques. Copper was used to make turquoise to light blue, green, or red colored glass. Cobalt made glass dark blue. Manganese and antimony were used to make the glass yellow, white, and purple. Iron was used to make a light blue, green, brown and black color. The wide array of colors were chosen to mimic the colors of gemstones, such as lapis, amethyst, and turquoise. Even today, scientists cannot identify all of the components of Roman glass making and the art has been partially lost. 

The same sands used to make the glass helped preserve it through the centuries, shaping and molding it into the beautiful pieces excavated today. Two thousand years of burial in minerals and soil combined with wind and weather has resulted in pigmented deposits on the surface of the glass. Through oxidation, the pigment has developed into beautiful patinas of blues and greens, although other rarer colors can still be found. 

earthegy ancient Roman glass jewelry enables you to wear an entirely unique piece of 2,000 year old history. Your Roman glass jewelry has a past life that began as a household object made by a skilled craftsman of a lost art. It has been transformed by nature into a new work of art...unique for you. A necklace, a bracelet, a pair of ancient Roman glass earrings...each handmade piece is one of a kind and the result of over 2000 years of history, craftsmanship, and nature combining their efforts.

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