|Among the Greeks and Romans those were worn originally only as signet-rings on the fourth finger of the left hand. Among the Romana of the olden time, as among the Spartans, they were exclusively of iron. Then golden rings came in as distinguishing marks of senators and magistrates, and afterwards also of knights. It was only in the course of the imperial age that the golden signet-ring lost its original meaning, and became finally a sign of free birth, or of the privileges thereto attached. Extravagant sums were paid for ornamental rings, the value of which consisted partly in the stone itself, partly in the art displayed in the stone-cutting. Among the Greeks this kind of luxury arose at an early time; among the Romans it began only in the last years of the Republic, while it considerably increased under the Empire. Men, as well as women, used sometimes to wear rings on all their fingers.