To the ancient Egyptians, the scarab was a symbol of immortality and regeneration. After Babylonian talismanic cylinders, Egyptian scarabs are the second oldest example of engraved talismanic gems to be found in history. Ancient scarab amulets were often engraved with the hieroglyphs for life, power, stability, and truth. One ancient example is even engraved with the phrase “May thy name be established, mayst thou have a son” - a little pro-patriarchy for our standards, honestly.
While the scarab represented the rising sun and the renewal of life after death, most Egyptians wore their scarab amulets to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. Scarab amulets were also exchanged as gifts in ancient times - one in the Met reads, "May Ra grant you a happy new year.”
Later, as Egyptian culture came to permeate the Roman Empire, Roman legionnaires wore rings set with scarabs, believing they would grant courage and strength.