Chesters Jet Finger Ring

A jet ring after a find from Roman Chesters now in the Clayton Collection, 3rd-4th century AD. The size (inner ring diameter of 22 against 24.5mm) suggests it was a man's ring. It carries a tiny (letter height is 2.5 - 3 mm) inscription on 3 sides, reading



quis sepa(rabit) meum et tuum durante vita
Who shall separate mine and thine while life lasts?
The 4th side shows a Chi Rho sign. Both the Chi Rho and the QVIS SEPA are carved mirrored (although the artisan mistakenly carved the Q in a normal manner), so could be used as a seal or like.
Jet (as well as shale and cannal coal) was much in use for rings, bracelets, pendants or hairpins and the like in the late Roman period.
I'm indebted to Dr. Frances Claire McIntosh for her support in researching this item.


  • McIntosh, Frances Claire . The Clayton Collection: an archaeological appraisal of a 19th century collection. 2016.
  • Private conversation with Dr. Frances Claire McIntosh