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About The Viking Jewelry

When we think about the Vikings, most of us think more about weapons than we do about jewelry. Norse funerary mounds and Viking hoards from across Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom have revealed many fine examples of Viking jewelry and the pride and care that the Vikings took when it came to self-ornamentation.

Similar to Celtic jewelry, Viking jewelry was made thick and durable to withstand the rigors of both battle and the field, as many Vikings were farmers. Worn by men and women, Viking jewelry was designed to reflect the status of the wearer, as well as the history, allegiance, and beliefs of their household. Some pieces were also thought to have protective or magical powers.

The preferred metal for the bracelets and necklaces of Viking warriors was silver, but gold pieces were also worn, often embellished with precious stones. Poorer people would fashion bracelets and other jewelry from bronze, iron, pewter, and animal bone. Brooches, bracelets, and necklaces were all popular, but rings and earrings were relatively rare, probably because they were so much less durable.

Necklaces, bracelets, and amulets usually featured abstract patterns and geometric shapes, as well as images from nature. The twisting shapes of snakes were particularly common on Norse jewelry, and the Vikings also borrowed ideas and designs from the regions they encountered during their raids, and incorporated them into their unique Norse style.

Another common theme in Viking jewelry was Norse mythology and religious symbolism. Many necklaces and bracelets featured images of ravens, which were a symbol of war in Viking mythology. The two ravens, Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), were thought to be the eyes and ears of Odin, king of the gods and the god of war. Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, was also a common theme and was considered a symbol of protection.

Modern replica Norse jewelry for men and women has become very popular around the world as symbols of strength, power, and connection with the old ways.