The Vikings while warriors and farmers, still loved their ornaments and jewellery. The Vikings would wear an array of jewellery items, men and women were both fans of the shiny metal objects that would have added some glamour to their world.
The most interesting part of Viking jewellery is that Vikings often used it for dual purposes : Arm bands and bracelets would be a decorative item, and would also be used for currency. And we know that Vikings excelled in trade.
Should a Viking need to purchase something from the market, then they could simply pull a piece of silver off their arm band, and use it to purchase their goods. In this way some Viking jewellery was essentially a wallet or purse. In Viking times, carrying your wealth on your person was a secure way to keep it safe.
Vikings created and wore many different forms of jewellery from rings, to armbands and brooches. Some of the jewellery was functional and some for decoration only, but all would be similarly designed with expert craftsmanship.
Important facts about Vikings and jewellery:
- Both Norse men and women wore jewellery as a sign of their wealth.
- What we know about Norse jewellery comes from items discovered in hoards and burial sites.
- Jewellery was often used as a form of currency. Vikings wore arm and neck rings, usually made of silver, from which they would hack pieces off to make payment for goods and services.
- Silver was frequently used to make Viking jewellery. Gold was rarely used.
- Brooches worn by women were the most common jewellery items of the ancient Vikings.