Jeweled Gold Diadem, Black Sea, Circa 150 BC
This elaborately decorated headdress (aka the Loeb Diadem) from the Crimean Peninsula is one of the most magnificent works of gold that has been preserved from the ancient world. Produced in around 150 BC, it probably served as a burial object. It is composed of multiple separately crafted pieces: The lower part is dominated by a Heracles knot made up of garnet and gold elements. The ends on both sides are encased in sheaths made of gold plating to which the two half-arches of the diadem are attached by means of hinges. The half-arches are covered with a meshed scaly pattern made up of engraved leaf ornaments the edges of which are decorated with gold wires and beads. Inlaid garnets present a sensational play of colors. On the right and the left, the half-arches are finished off with decorative capsules with rich scrolled and cord trimmings.
The front section of the headdress is decorated with tasseled pendants, all of which have the same structure: an array of rosette-studded discs, garnet pearls flanked with hemispheric flower bowls, and bundles of chains, to which gold beads and garnet, carnelian and white-banded sardonyx pearls set in gold are attached. The goldsmith created the figures that were soldered to the centre section of the diadem in one distinct design stage. Here you see two sea dragons, one on either side of the winged goddess of victory, Nike, who is wearing a girdled garment , a chiton, and is carrying an offering cup or a wreath in her right hand.
Source: Archaic Wonder