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Antique 19thC Russia Ukraine CrimeanTartar Silver Etched Enamel Niello Ring Sz8

CAD 172.76 Buy It Now 3d, CAD 21.25 Shipping, 30-Day Returns

Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122179568187 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Beautiful Size 8 Nineteenth Century Russian Etched Niello Enamel Silver Alloy Ring with a Diamond-White, Flashy Zircon Center Stone. Etched Enamel Silver/Bronze Alloy Ring; Southern Russia, Crimea, 19th Century. SIZE/DIMENSIONS: Size: 8 (U.S.). Inner Diameter: 20 1/2mm * 18 1/2mm. Overall Diameter: 21 1/2mm * 19 1/2mm. Bezel: Length: 24mm. Breadth: 10mm. Gemstone Diameter 3 1/2mm (about one-quarter carat). Tapered Width Band: 17mm at bezel; 8mm at sides; 2 1/2mm at back. Weight: 4.65 grams. CONDITION: Excellent! Intact, integrity unimpaired. Moderate wear from usage. No significant porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Very fine finish. DETAIL: A very ornate silver/bronze alloy ring of late Renaissance origin, probably eighteenth or nineteenth century, provenance is Southern Russia, the Crimean Region. The Crimean, now part of present-day Ukraine, was home of the Tartars (and before them ancient Greek settlements during the first millennium B.C.), across the Black Sea from what was at the time this ring was produced, the Ottoman Empire, modern day Turkey. This style of ring was very popular from the medieval period onwards, and enjoyed an especial resurgence in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Russia, and even into the twentieth century. The ring bears a very elaborate pattern on the sides of the band as well as on the bezel, finely etched and enameled with a material known as “niello”, a silver/lead/sulfur alloy, and still discernible and intact despite some light wear. The ring is quite substantial and sturdy, and the design of the ring and the detailed metal work evidenced in the bezel and bands is very elaborate! The ring itself is constructed of a bronze/silver alloy known as “billion”. Billion is a silver/bronze (or silver-copper; or gold-bronze, or gold-copper) alloy that tends to be of a low proportion of silver. This low-silver composite has its roots in the Roman Empire and their predecessors the ancient Greeks. The use of billion admixtures in the production of coinage became especially commonplace during the third century in the Roman Empire, during which time it was used to produce silver coinage which was the successor to the Roman denarius. Though originally composed of 40% to 60% silver, by the Middle Ages coinage produced of billion oftentimes contained less than 10% silver. The mixture today is known as “billion”, generally denominating a low-silver bronze/silver alloy which was still used as recently as the nineteenth century in Eastern Europe in the production of jewelry. There is some moderate wear to the ring, and some of the etched/enameled pattern is worn to the point where some of the enamel is fallen out - especially on one side of the ring. However even without enamel, the etched pattern remains intact and very handsome. Most of the enamel remains intact however, and all of the etched pattern remains discernible and sharp. We would emphasize that the metal work was in the nature of shallow etching, not engraving, so it is not entirely unexpected that even modest wear would wear away the pattern enough to let the enamel drop out. But of course, some signs of wear are to be expected from a ring this old. It was produced with the idea that someone would purchase it and wear it - and that is exactly what happened. It is clear that several centuries ago this was amongst someone's favorite rings and that they wore it with pleasure and frequency. The ring remains very well constructed and solid. Overall the ring evidences a moderate amount of wear, not excessive, and it remains quite intricate and substantial. The design of the ring and the detailed etching evidenced is quite ornate, and the heavy construction of the ring means it could be worn and enjoyed for many years to come.! The ring was probably designed to be worn by a man, and is bold and handsome enough to be worn by a man today. However the design is elaborate, elegant, and intricate enough to be worn with good taste by a woman as well. And the wear present has in no way diminished the integrity of the artifact. It could provide a new owner with decades of wearing enjoyment. The gemstone set into the center of the bezel is a sparkling, white zircon. It really is a gorgeous touch. The gemstone has all of the flash and brilliance of a diamond. It is about three and one-half millimeters in diameter, and we'd estimate that it weighs about a quarter carat. The ring itself is silver alloyed with bronze, and is quite wearable, and could be worn and enjoyed for decades to come without endangering the integrity of the artifact. HISTORY OF NIELLO: Niello is a black or dark silver colored alloy of sulfur, copper, silver, and usually lead, used as a type of enamel for thousand of years as an inlay on engraved metal, filling in the engraved designs cut from metal. The ancient Egyptians are credited with originating niello decoration, which spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. The compound used during the Middle Ages in Europe was slightly different than that used by the Ancient Egyptians, the enamel composed of simply silver, lead and sulfur. This resulted in a design of much higher contrast and thus much more visible. The ancient technique required the artisan to carve a pattern into the silver, leaving the figure raised by carving out the "background". He would then use the niello inlay to fill in the "background". After being baked in an open fire, the alloy would harden. It would then be sanded smooth and buffed. Finally, a silver artisan would add minute details by hand. Filigree was often used for additional ornamentation. Commonly niello was used in the production of necklaces, bracelets, brooches, rings, earrings, pendants, buttons, and ornamental ware such as small metal boxes, tableware, etc. During the medieval Period Russian craftsmen gained a reputation throughout Medieval Europe and the Near East for their exquisite jewelry, and in particular the inlaid work utilizing niello and cloisonné enamel of artisans from Kiev had no equal in the world market during that time period. Niello was used on a variety of object including sword hilts, chalices, plates, horns, adornment for horses, and most prolifically, jewelry for women: necklaces, bracelets, rings, torques, pendants, buttons, belt buckles, headdresses, etc. The technique for niello application was first shaping silver or gold by repousse, embossing, and casting. They would high relief objects and fill the background with niello using a mixture of red copper, lead, silver, potash, borax, sulfur which was liquefied and poured into concaved surfaces before being baked in a furnace. The heat from the furnace would blacken the niello and allow other ornamentation to stand out more vividly. Niello items were mass produced using molds that still survive today and were traded with Greeks, the Byzantine Empire, and other peoples that traded along the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. During the Mongol invasion from 1237 to 1240 A.D. the whole of Kievan Rus was overrun and villages and workshops were burned and razed to the ground and most of the craftsmen and artisans were killed. Afterwards skill in niello and cloisonné enamel diminished greatly. The Ukrainian Museum of Historic Treasures, located in Kiev, has a large collection of niello items mostly recovered from tombs found throughout the Ukraine. HISTORY OF RUSSIA: Prior to the current era (before 0 A.D.) the vast lands of South Russia were home to various Proto-Indo-European tribes such as the Scythians. Between the third and sixth centuries A.D., the steppes were overwhelmed by successive waves of nomadic invasions when swept through Europe, as was the case with Huns and Turkish Avars. A Turkic people, the Khazars, ruled South Russia through the 8th century. They were important allies of the Byzantine Empire and waged a series of successful wars against the Arab Califates. The Early East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in Western Russia from the 7th century onwards and slowly assimilated the native Finno-Ugric tribes, such as the Merya, the Muromians and the Meshchera. In the mid-9th century, a group of Scandinavians, the Varangians, assumed the role of a ruling elite at the Slavic capital of Novgorod. Although they were quickly assimilated by the predominantly Slavic population, the Varangian dynasty lasted several centuries, during which they affiliated with the Byzantine, or Orthodox church and moved the capital to Kiev in A.D. 882. In the 10th to 11th centuries this state of Kievan Rus became the largest in Europe and one of the most prosperous, due to diversified trade with both Europe and Asia. However the opening of new trade routes with the Orient at the time of the Crusades contributed to the decline and defragmentation of Kievan Rus by the end of the 12th century. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the constant incursions of nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchaks and the Pechenegs, led to the massive migration of Slavic populations from the fertile south to the heavily forested regions of the north. The medieval states of Novgorod Republic and Vladimir-Suzdal emerged as successors to Kievan Rus, while the middle course of the Volga River came to be dominated by the Muslim state of Volga Bulgaria. Like many other parts of Eurasia, these territories were overrun by the Mongol invaders known as the “Golden Horde”, which would pillage Russia for over three centuries. Later known as the Tatars, they ruled the southern and central expanses of present-day Russia, while the territories of present-day Ukraine and Belarus were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland, thus dividing the Russian people in the north from the Belarusians and Ukrainians in the west. Nomadic rule retarded the country's economic and social development. However, the Novgorod Republic together with Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke and was largely spared the atrocities that affected the rest of the country. Led by Alexander Nevsky, the Novgorodians repelled the Germanic crusaders who attempted to colonize the region. While still under the domain of the Mongols the duchy of Moscow began to assert its influence in Western Russia in the early 14th century. Assisted by the Russian Orthodox Church Muscovy inflicted a defeat on the Mongols in the Battle of Kulikovo (1389). Ivan the Great (ruled 1456-1505) eventually tossed off the control of the invaders, consolidated surrounding areas under Moscow's dominion and first took the title "grand duke of all the Russias". After the fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire in 1453 A.D., Muscovite Russia remained the only more or less functional Christian state on the Eastern European frontier, allowing it to claim succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire. By the beginning of the 16th century the Russian state set the national goal to return all Russian territories lost as a result of the Mongolian invasion and to protect the southern borderland against attacks of Crimean Tatars and other Turkic peoples. In 1547, Ivan the Terrible was officially crowned the first Tsar of Russia. During his long reign, Ivan annexed the Muslim polities along the Volga River and transformed Russia into a multiethnic state. By the end of the century, Russian Cossacks established the first settlements in Western Siberia. In the middle of the 17th century there were Russian settlements in Eastern Siberia all the way to the Pacific coast, where the strait between North America and Asia was first sighted by a Russian explorer in 1648. Muscovite control of the nascent nation continued after the Polish intervention of 1605-1612 under the subsequent Romanov dynasty, beginning with Tsar Michael Romanov in 1613. Peter the Great (ruled in 1689-1725) defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War, forcing it to cede even more territory to Russia, including Ingria in which Peter founded a new capital, Saint Petersburg. Peter succeeded in bringing ideas and culture from Western Europe to a severely underdeveloped Russia. After his reforms, Russia emerged as a major European power. Catherine the Great, ruling from 1762 to 1796, continued Peter’s efforts at establishing Russia as one of the great powers of Europe. Examples of its 18th-century European involvement include the War of Polish Succession and the Seven Years' War. In the wake of the Partitions of Poland, Russia had taken territories with the ethnic Belarusian and Ukrainian population, earlier parts of Kievan Rus. As a result of the victorious Russian-Turkish wars, Russia's borders expanded to the Black Sea and Russia set its goal on the protection of Balkan Christians against a Turkish yoke. In 1783 Russia and the Georgian Kingdom (which was almost totally devastated by Persian and Turkish invasions) signed the treaty of Georgievsk according to which Georgia received the protection of Russia. In 1812, having gathered nearly half a million soldiers from France, as well as from all of its conquered states in Europe, Napoleon invaded Russia but, after taking Moscow, was forced to retreat back to Europe. The Russian armies ended their pursuit of the enemy by taking his capital, Paris. As a result of the Napoleonic wars Bessarabia, Finland, and Poland were incorporated into the Russian Empire. However the continuation of Russian serfdom impeded the development of Imperial Russia in the mid-19th century. As a result, the country was defeated in the Crimean War, 1853–1856, by an alliance of major European powers, including Britain, France, Ottoman Empire, and Piedmont-Sardinia. Nicholas's successor Alexander II (1855–1881) was forced to undertake a series of comprehensive reforms and issued a decree abolishing serfdom in 1861. The Great Reforms of Alexander's reign spurred increasingly rapid capitalist development and attempts at industrialization. The Slavophile mood was on the rise, spearheaded by Russia's victory in the War of 1877-1878, which forced the Ottoman Empire to recognize the independence of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and autonomy of Bulgaria. However the failure of agrarian reforms and suppression of the growing liberal intelligentsia were continuing problems however. On the eve of World War I, the position of Tsar Nicholas II and his dynasty appeared precarious. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I and the resultant deterioration of the economy led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the Romanovs. At the close of this Russian Revolution of 1917, a Marxist political faction called the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd and Moscow under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. The Bolsheviks changed their name to the Communist Party. A bloody civil war ensued, pitting the Bolsheviks' Red Army against a loose confederation of anti-socialist monarchist and bourgeois forces known as the White Army. The Red Army triumphed, and the Soviet Union was formed in 1922. The Soviet Union was meant to be a transnational worker's state free from nationalism. The concept of Russia as a separate national entity was therefore not emphasized in the early Soviet Union. Although Russian institutions and cities certainly remained dominant, many non-Russians participated in the new government at all levels. One of these was a Georgian named Joseph Stalin. A brief power struggle ensued after Lenin's death in 1924. Stalin gradually eroded the various checks and balances which had been designed into the Soviet political system and assumed dictatorial power by the end of the decade. Leon Trotsky and almost all other Old Bolsheviks from the time of the Revolution were killed or exiled, and the ideals of communism died with them. As the 1930’s began, Stalin launched the Great Purges, a massive series of political repressions. Millions of people who Stalin and local authorities suspected of being a threat to their power were executed or exiled to Gulag labor camps in remote areas of Siberia. As bad as the Soviet was for Eastern Europe, it was equally bad for Russia. And though 27 million Russians perished in World War II, it would be difficult to determine in the end who killed more Russians, the Nazi’s or the Soviet Union itself under Stalin. HISTORY OF SILVER: After gold, silver is the metal most widely used in jewelry and the most malleable. The oldest silver artifacts found by archaeologists date from ancient Sumeria about 4,000 B.C. At many points in the ancient world, it was actually more costly than gold, particularly in ancient Egypt. Silver is found in native form (i.e., in nuggets), as an alloy with gold (electrum), and in ores containing sulfur, arsenic, antimony or chlorine. Much of the silver originally found in the ancient world was actually a natural alloy of gold and silver (in nugget form) known as “electrum”. The first large-scale silver mines were in Anatolia (ancient Turkey) and Armenia, where as early as 4,000 B.C. silver was extracted from lead ores by means of a complicated process known as “smelting”. Even then the process was not perfect, as ancient silver does contain trace elements, typically lead, gold, bismuth and other metals, and as much as a third of the silver was left behind in the slag. However measuring the concentrations of the “impurities” in ancient silver can help the forensic jewelry historian in determining the authenticity of classical items. From Turkey and Armenia silver refining technology spread to the rest of Asia Minor and Europe. By about 2,500 B.C. the Babylonians were one of the major refiners of silver. Silver “treasures” recovered by archaeologists from the second and third millenniums demonstrate the high value the ancient Mediterranean and Near East placed upon silver. Some of the richest burials in history uncovered by archaeologists have been from this time frame, that of Queen Puabi of Ur, Sumeria (26th century B.C.); Tuankhamun (14th century B.C.), and the rich Trojan (25th century B.C.) and Mycenaean (18th century B.C.) treasures uncovered by Heinrich Schliemann. The ancient Egyptians believed that the skin of their gods was composed of gold, and their bones were thought to be of silver. When silver was introduced into Egypt, it probably was more valuable than gold (silver was rarer and more valuable than gold in many Mesoamerican cultures as well). In surviving inventories of valuables, items of silver were listed above those of gold during the Old Kingdom. Jewelry made of silver was almost always thinner than gold pieces, as indicated by the bracelets of the 4th Dynasty (about 2,500 B.C.) queen Hetephere I, in marked contrast to the extravagance of her heavy gold jewelry. A silver treasure excavated by archaeologists and attributable to the reign of Amenemhat II who ruled during the 12th Dynasty (about 1900 B.C.), contained fine silver items which were actually produced in Crete, by the ancient Minoans. When the price of silver finally did fall due to more readily available supplies, for at least another thousand years (through at least the 19th dynasty, about 1,200 B.C.) the price of silver seems to have been fixed at half that of gold. Several royal mummies attributable to about 1,000 B.C. were even entombed in solid silver coffins. Around 1,000 B.C. Greek Athenians began producing silver from the Laurium mines, and would supply much of the ancient Mediterranean world with its silver for almost 1,000 years. This ancient source was eventually supplemented around 800 B.C. (and then eventually supplanted) by the massive silver mines found in Spain by the Phoenicians and their colony (and ultimate successors) the Carthaginians (operated in part by Hannibal’s family). With the defeat of Carthage by Rome, the Romans gained control of these vast deposits, and mined massive amounts of silver from Spain, stripping entire forests regions for timber to fuel smelting operations. In fact, it was not until the Middle Ages that Spain’s silver mines (and her forests) were finally exhausted. Although known during the Copper Age, silver made only rare appearances in jewelry before the classical age. Despite its infrequent use as jewelry however, silver was widely used as coinage due to its softness, brilliant color, and resistance to oxidation. Silver alloyed with gold in the form of “electrum” was coined to produce money around 700 B.C. by the Lydians of present-day Turkey. Having access to silver deposits and being able to mine them played a big role in the classical world. Actual silver coins were first produced in Lydia about 610 B.C., and subsequently in Athens in about 580 B.C. Many historians have argued that it was the possession and exploitation of the Laurium mines by the Athenians that allowed them to become the most powerful city state in Greece. The Athenians were well aware of the significance of the mining operations to the prosperity of their city, as every citizen had shares in the mines. Enough silver was mined and refined at Laurium to finance the expansion of Athens as a trading and naval power. One estimate is that Laurium produced 160 million ounces of silver, worth six billion dollars today (when silver is by comparison relatively cheap and abundant). As the production of silver from the Laurium mines ultimately diminished, Greek silver production shifted to mines in Macedonia. Silver coinage played a significant role in the ancient world. Macedonia’s coinage during the reign of Philip II (359-336 B.C.) circulated widely throughout the Hellenic world. His famous son, Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.), spread the concept of coinage throughout the lands he conquered. For both Philip II and Alexander silver coins became an essential way of paying their armies and meeting other military expenses. They also used coins to make a realistic portrait of the ruler of the country. The Romans also used silver coins to pay their legions. These coins were used for most daily transactions by administrators and traders throughout the empire. Roman silver coins also served as an important means of political propaganda, extolling the virtues of Rome and her emperors, and continued in the Greek tradition of realistic portraiture. As well, many public works and architectural achievements were also depicted (among them the Coliseum, the Circus Maximus). In addition many important political events were recorded on the coinage. You can Romaan coins which depicted the assassination of Julius Caesar, alliances between cities, between emperors, between armies, etc. And many contenders for the throne of Rome are known only through their coinage. Silver was also widely used as ornamental work and in other metal wares. In ancient cultures, especially in Rome, silver was highly prized for the making of plate ware, household utensils, and ornamental work. The stability of Rome’s economy and currency depended primarily on the output of the silver mines in Spain which they had wrested from the Carthaginians. In fact many historians would say that it was the control of the wealth of these silver mines which enabled Rome to conquer most of the Mediterranean world. When in 55 B.C. the Romans invaded Britain they were quick to discover and exploit the lead-silver deposits there as well. Only six years later they had established many mines and Britain became another major source of silver for the Roman Empire. It is estimated that by the second century A.D., 10,000 tons of Roman silver coins were in circulation within the empire. That’s about 3½ billion silver coins (at the height of the empire, there were over 400 mints throughout the empire producing coinage). That’s ten times the total amount of silver available to Medieval Europe and the Islamic world combined as of about 800 A.D. Silver later lost its position of dominance to gold, particularly in the chaos following the fall of Rome. Large-scale mining in Spain petered out, and when large-scale silver mining finally resumed four centuries after the fall of Rome, most of the mining activity was in Central Europe. By the time of the European High Middle Ages, silver once again became the principal material used for metal artwork. Huge quantities of silver from the New World also encouraged eager buyers in Europe, and enabled the Spanish to become major players in the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Unlike the ores in Europe which required laborious extraction and refining methods to result in pure silver, solid silver was frequently found as placer deposits in stream beds in Spain’s “New World” colonies, reportedly in some instances solid slabs weighing as much as 2,500 pounds. Prior to the discovery of massive silver deposits in the New World, silver had been valued during the Middle Ages at about 10%-15% of the value of gold. In 15th century the price of silver is estimated to have been around $1200 per ounce, based on 2010 dollars. The discovery of massive silver deposits in the New World during the succeeding centuries has caused the price to diminish greatly, falling to only 1-2% of the value of gold. The art of silver work flourished in the Renaissance, finding expression in virtually every imaginable form. Silver was often plated with gold and other decorative materials. Although silver sheets had been used to overlay wood and other metals since ancient Greece, an 18th-century technique of fusing thin silver sheets to copper brought silver goods called Sheffield plate within the reach of most people. At the same time the use of silver in jewelry making had also started gaining popularity in the 17th century. It was often as support in settings for diamonds and other transparent precious stones, in order to encourage the reflection of light. Silver continued to gain in popularity throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and by the 20th century competed with gold as the principal metal used in the manufacture of jewelry. Silver has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of any metal, and one of the highest optical reflectivity values. It has a brilliant metallic luster, is very ductile and malleable, only slightly harder than gold, and is easily worked and polished. When used in jewelry, silver is commonly alloyed to include 7.5% copper, known as “Sterling Silver”, to increase the hardness and reduce the melting temperature. Silver jewelry may be plated with 99.9% pure ‘Fine Silver’ to increase the shine when polished. It may also be plated with rhodium to prevent tarnish. Virtually all gold, with the exception of 24 carat gold, includes silver. Most gold alloys are primarily composed of only gold and silver. Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. Precious minerals were likewise considered to have medicinal and “magical” properties in the ancient world. In its pure form silver is non toxic, and when mixed with other elements is used in a wide variety of medicines. Silver ions and silver compounds show a toxic effect on some bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi. Silver was widely used before the advent of antibiotics to prevent and treat infections, silver nitrate being the prevalent form. Silver Iodide was used in babies' eyes upon birth to prevent blinding as the result of bacterial contamination. Silver is still widely used in topical gels and impregnated into bandages because of its wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity. The recorded use of silver to prevent infection dates to ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the ancient (5th century B.C.) Greek "father of medicine" wrote that silver had beneficial healing and anti-disease properties. The ancient Phoenicians stored water, wine, and vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling. These uses were “rediscovered” in the Middle Ages, when silver was used for several purposes; such as to disinfect water and food during storage, and also for the treatment of burns and wounds as a wound dressing. The ingestion of colloidal silver was also believed to help restore the body's “electromagnetic balance” to a state of equilibrium, and it was believed to detoxify the liver and spleen. In the 19th century sailors on long ocean voyages would put silver coins in barrels of water and wine to keep the liquid potable. Silver (and gold) foil is also used through the world as a food decoration. Traditional Indian dishes sometimes include the use of decorative silver foil, and in various cultures silver dragée (silver coated sugar balls) are used to decorate cakes, cookies, and other dessert items. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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