Courtesy of the British Museum

Inscribed gem. Labe says the inscription on this emerald, signifying a call to “take, grasp, apprehend,” perhaps in the sense of “seize the day, enjoy.” Held in an oblong bezel on a plain rounded hoop, the gem is inscribed in ancient Greek script in mirror-image fashion, so the ring could be used as a seal. Gems or glass set in a simple ring and inscribed with a name, initials or a motto, for the purpose of sealing or authorizing documents, became acceptable as a business necessity under the more lenient instruction of Clement of Alexandria.