Cornelia Earrings


Our most stately and regal design is quintessentially classic and universally flattering, with a square cushion cut cabochon stone set into an ornately-crowned bezel and an ornamented sphere dangle, beneath. It is based on several ancient Roman examples from the first and second centuries AD. The high number of remaining examples attests to its incredible popularity in Roman times.

Our earrings may be ordered with a post back, or as a set of clip-on earrings. They are available with the following stones: Blue Lapis Lazuli, Pink Opal, Red Garnet, Aqua Chalcedony and White/Rainbow Moonstone. Please indicate your choice of stone and earring back in the Special Instructions area of this page.

To the ancient Romans and those who study them, the name Cornelia brings to mind the most majestic of women and the most pious of mothers: Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, who was held up as example of the epitome of the Roman matron, by all.

Cornelia (c. 190 - 115 BC) was the daughter of the celebrated general and hero of the Second Punic War, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus. She married Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, and the couple had 12 children together. Two of these were the eventual heroes of the Roman plebeians, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, who attempted to defy Rome's traditional aristocratic political institutions, in order to bring about popular reforms. Cornelia was indeed a devoted mother who made sure that her sons were highly educated, and supported their political careers unwaveringly. But she was also highly educated herself, having studied Greek and Latin literature with the several scholars and philosophers she brought to Rome. Two powerful letters Cornelia wrote to her son Gaius remain, which make her only one of four Roman women whose written work survives, today.

The moralist Plutarch tells us more about her strong and admirable character, particularly in the aftermath of Tiberius' death, which left her with 12 children to raise: "Cornelia took charge of the children and of the estate, and showed herself [to be] so discreet, such a good mother, and so magnanimous. For when Ptolemy the king offered to share his crown with her and sought her hand in marriage, she refused him, and remained a widow. In this state she lost most of her children, but three survived; one daughter, who married Scipio the younger, and two sons, Tiberius and Gaius, whose lives I now relate. These sons Cornelia reared with such scrupulous care that although confessedly no other Romans were so well endowed by nature, they were thought to owe their virtues more to [her] education than to nature." - Life of Tiberius Gracchus, 1.4-5

To Cornelia, her children were her "jewels" (Valerius Maximus, Memorabilia 4.4).

Earring Details

Overall height: 3 cm (1.2 in)

Cabochon stone size: 1 x 1 cm (.4 x .4 in)

Dangle length: 1.5 cm (.6 in)

Available Precious Metals and Prices

925 Sterling Silver: $380

18 Karat Gold Over Sterling Silver: $610

14 Karat Gold: $950

18 Karat Gold $1,220

Gold and Silver Type