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However, Roman goldsmiths, though by no means lacking in skill, preferred plainer geometric shapes and patterns to the exuberant gods, myths and foliage of Greek jewellery.Gold jewellery was in great demand and important members of Roman society were proud of their collections.The Egyptians understood fire assaying to test the purity of gold, mastered the art of alloying with other metals for hardness or colour variations, and casting, including the lost-wax technique, which remain at the heart of much jewellery manufacture.Their achievements were preserved in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, who died in 1352 BC.'In fact, there were more different types of jewellery than there are today.' The Egyptians Unlike ancient Sumer, Egypt had much gold to hand, in the Eastern Desert and in the lands to the south.The goldsmith's repertoire of skills advanced rapidly.
Granulation work is the use of minute gold balls, hundreds and sometimes thousands of them, to produce patterns and designs.
Technical accomplishment proceeded with the Minoans on Crete producing the first known cable chain, another staple in modern catalogues, and the Etruscans in Italy perfecting granulation in which thousands of tiny grains of gold were used to outline and silhouette animal and human figures, giving a feeling of texture and light.
Best known are the gold masks and massive gold rings found by Schliemann at Mycenae at the end of the nineteenth century.
It is a symbol of the magnificence achieved in gold from ancient times.
The forms of gold work produced in Egypt remained surprisingly constant for more than 2000 years until the country was conquered by Alexander the Great.