A bust of Athena (Roman: Minerva) has been set into the bezel of this hollow gold ring. She wears a snake-edged aegis and a Corinthian helmet in her role as warrior goddess. Similar in function to an amulet, a ring with a portrait of a divinity brought the wearer under the deity's protection.
Athena, who was very popular as a motif on such rings, was often a protectress of heroes such as Herakles or Theseus. She was also connected with skilled crafts and healing.
Although the stone of this cameo is chalcedony, it looks very like emerald, a stone particularly prized by the Romans (1st century A.D.). The extremely high relief carving of this gem is unusual for a ring.