There are many different kinds of Italian traditional ring, some with designs dating back to Roman times. They were worn in large numbers, on the fingers of both hands, in addition to the wedding ring. Like all Italian traditional jewellery, they usually had amuletic, as well as decorative, meaning.
This ring, with a cluster of stones of the same colour, is typical of those from the Lazio region. The blue of the turquoise was believed to protect against the evil eye, an ever-present danger in Italy.
It was bought for 16 shillings as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.