Roman citizens would have required signet-rings to seal official documents.
Most of the gems from Caerleon dropped out of the rings worn by legionaries while they were bathing.
The subjects on these rings reflect religious beliefs the military life and personal interests.
The Caerleon collection is one of the largest from any site in Britain and is of international importance.
Revd. Dr Martin Henig, Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London, is the author of the standard work, A Corpus of Roman Engraved Gemstones from British Sites (1974. 3rd edition 2008) as well as catalogues of gems in the university collections of Oxford and Cambridge.