Vikings Loved Jewellery – Viking Jewellery Part 2 by Rob Shackleford
Viking Jewelry – Fashion with a Purpose
Vikings enjoyed fashion and the allure of precious metals and they strived to incorporate this into their day-to-day lives by crafting beautiful ornate ornaments. However, unlike most cultures, jewelry pieces in Viking culture typically had a dual purpose, being used both for aesthetic appeal and as a form of currency, much like carrying money in your wallet or purse.
Evidently, Vikings were not the barbarians most people assume they were, they were an organized, sophisticated people with a rich culture that has more in common with most other cultures of their era, such as the Saxons or the many other Germanic peoples of Europe of the time.
Here are more jewellery items popular with Vikings. This is Part 2 of my Viking Jewellery blogs, so to check out previously mentioned jewellery, please check out my Blog: Vikings Loved Bling – Viking Jewellery Part 1.
My articles on Viking history and society are only a guide and, though every effort is taken to ensure the information is correct, are not intended to be in depth or formal academic study. If you are interested in Viking history, the Internet is a great start.
Rings, like in most other cultures, were worn around the finger and were extremely popular among Vikings. There have been numerous findings of finger rings in Viking grave sites. Compared to those created by modern jewellers, the rings typically had an uneven width, with most of them being open ended, possibly in order to allow them to fit on different sized fingers with minimal effort. However, finger rings only became popular to the Vikings in the late ages of the Viking-era.
Despite the gorgeous costumery and props used in the TV show Vikings, earrings were the least common form of Viking jewellery. Earrings were only found in hoards amongst other types of jewellery, most likely looted from other peoples.
Interesting fact: Nordic earrings were worn over the entire ear as opposed to hanging from the earlobe.
Historians have suggested that Viking earrings were of Slavic in origin and not an original concept forged by the Norsemen.
Arm Rings/Arm Bands
Arm rings/arm bands or bracelets were extremely popular in Viking culture and, like neck-rings, served a dual purpose; ornamental and commercial. Some arm rings were very intricate and detailed, having been crafted from precious metals such as gold and silver. Arm rings represented societal standing and were a display of wealth.
Unlike the oath-rings popularised in the series ‘Vikings’, finds of bracelet fragments tell us that they were in fact a form of wearable currency rather than an oath ring. Vikings used a bullion economy and they traded for goods and services in silver. It is believed that Vikings would cut off a piece of the silver bracelet in exchange for goods and services.
Arm bands came in different shapes and designs. Some were spiral in design, wrapping themselves around the arm several times, giving them a firm grip around the arm, and making it easier for the wearer to tear a piece of the end off during a commercial transaction. Other arm rings were only long enough to wrap around three-quarters of the arm; these were the bands most commonly used as currency because they were plain and flat, which made them easier to break apart whenever needed.
Because of popular cultural trends, Viking styled jewellery is seeing a resurgence among some and can be readily purchased off the Internet.
Here are a few more Viking Jewellery links for your own research:
Interested in more? For more on Vikings, check out the links of my previous Viking articles below:
About the author:
Hi, I’m Rob Shackleford. I am author of a number of novels, though so far only Traveller Inceptio and Traveller Probo have been officially published. As Traveller Inceptio looks at the fates of modern historical researchers sent to the early 11th Century Saxon world, Vikings do feature.
Below are the Amazon links for the two novels so far.
In reading my novels, I ask if you wouldn’t mind posting a review and, perhaps, a picture of yourself with my book – either paperback or on kindle. Link to me on Social Media. I most welcome your comments and images.
I hope you enjoy.
Check out my web site at
In my vain attempt to attract attention and promote my books – please check out my brief skit video:
I have other Blogs about:
|Short Stories||Travelling New Zealand||Travelling the UK||India by Royal Enfield|
Please check me out on Social Media.