Only very few seal rings from the Amarna Period survive, and although there is no cartouche naming the King, the present ring is indisputably royal. The seated figure represents Akhenaten himself, identifiable by his idiosyncratic physique, characterized by a long neck, lantern jaw and elongated features. The ankh-sign in his hand, combined with the two independent hieroglyphs, spell one of this Pharaoh's epithets, "the one who lives in truth." The solar disk at the top represents the Aten, the supreme god promoted by Akhenaten. The Aten is flanked by pendant uraei, each wearing the White Crown, which balances the Red Crown worn by Akhenaten.
For a closely related ring, thought to be from Amarna, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, see no. 98 in Freed, et al., Pharaohs of the Sun. Akhenaten-Nefertiti-Tutankhamen. The MET ring likewise has the solar disk flanked by uraei wearing White Crowns, while below are seated figures of the Aten's children, Akhenaten in the Red Crown, and his wife Nefertiti.
This impressive gold stirrup ring was cast from a durable gold alloy (68.4 gold, 3.7 silver, and 20.5 copper), and then clad in a thick layer of much purer gold (92.4 gold, 4.2 silver, and 3.3 copper). The details of the bezel were then further embellished through careful tooling and polishing. The purpose of this layering allowed for the ring to better withstand the pressure exerted during the sealing process, where a blob of clay was applied over the ends of a cord tied around the object to be sealed (a rolled-up papyrus scroll, a box lid, door bolts, etc.); the ring is then impressed into the clay. Solid-cast stirrup rings became popular during the New Kingdom, superseding the swivel-types for sealing purposes.