Lapis lazuli enjoyed great popularity in the late Roman and Early Byzantine
periods; its rich purple-blue color was associated with royalty. From
the 200s on, coins and medallions often showed the emperor
carrying a scepter topped with an eagle, emblem of victory and authority.
This particular lapis lazuli eagle was found in Italy and dates to the 300s or 400s CE, meaning it may very well have once perched
on a Roman emperor’s scepter.