Ancient ring depicting first Roman Emperor valued for up to £200 sells for £117,000 after bidding war

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The ring sold for 450 times its initial value, selling for a whopping £117,000 after an intense 20 minute bidding war

An ancient ring believed to depict the first ever Roman Emperor and expected to sell for no more than £200 has sold at auction for an eye-watering £117,000.

The garnet intaglio ring, which is 2,000 years old, features the head of Augustus. It was thought to fetch from anywhere between £150 - £200 but actually ended up selling for 450 times that value.

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The first century piece of jewellery is thought to have been acquired during a ‘Grand Tour’ to Italy in the 19th century, popular with the aristocracy.It was then brought back to Britain where it has remained since.

The picture on the six-figure ring is believed to depict Augustus who was an integral figure in the history of the Roman Empire, which dominated the globe for more than a thousand years and is still talked about today.

Augustus Caesar was the First Emperor of the Roman Empire and ruled from 27 BC until his death, aged 75, in the year 14AD.

Nicola Whittaker, business development manager at Fellows, said the surprisingly high sale price of the ring made for an exciting occasion. “I am delighted by the result of our Fine Jewellery auction," she said.

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Fellows Auctioneers / SWNS

"Not only did we achieve an amazing price for our vendor, but we had the opportunity to handle an extremely interesting piece of jewellery history.It is rare to see such an intricately carved piece in such fine condition. It was a privilege to offer the ring for sale in our auction."

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