When you read the title of this article, you might think, “Viking Rings? What’s so fascinating about that? If the Vikings were tough and brutal, with hair on their chests, they undoubtedly didn’t have time to dedicate to their jewelry.” That isn’t the case! The Vikings, in fact, loved to adorn themselves with various kinds of jewelry, and some of their pieces held significant symbolic value.
Furthermore, the Viking rings not only featured magnificent designs that grew more sophisticated with time, but they also came in a variety of classes, not just for the fingers. As an example, fragments of rings for the neck and the arms, as well as circular brooches, have been discovered. We’ve divided them into categories in this post, and we’ll explore what they meant to the Vikings.
A Few Notes on Viking Jewelry
Both men and women wore many types of Viking jewelry, while it appears that ladies favored brooches and necklaces, men preferred various sorts of rings. Furthermore, it was not only normal to adorn people, but it was also customary to adorn weapons with these types of ornaments.
These jewels were usually made of silver or bronze, with gold being kept for the wealthy. Now, where did these valuable metals come from for the Vikings? Through trade and, more commonly, raids into England and other countries.
Viking Rings for Fingers
The rings of all life, that is, those that are worn on the fingers, may be the most iconic and well-known Viking rings. However, keep in mind that this type of jewelry only became fashionable in the late Viking age. Hundreds of pieces have been discovered in Viking tombs, indicating that they were a huge success at the time.
How did these rings turn out? They didn’t always end in a closed circle; instead, they were open, probably to allow for more control and varying widths for different fingers. Lastly, they had an irregular thickness.
Viking Rings for the Arm
Bracelets, maybe even more popular than Viking rings for the finger, were used to trade as well as to indicate the wearer’s social rank. They came in a variety of designs, with some being more intricate than others and quirky shapes. There were some that were thick and solid, and others that were spiral-shaped. This was one of the most popular styles since the bracelets could be used as coins, meaning that the bearer may break a piece of the end and use it in a transaction.
Rings for the Neck
The purpose, application, and design of Viking neck rings (similar to necklaces but with a more stiff design) are nearly comparable to the bracers we just discussed. It’s worth noting that they were made with the same weights and designs so that economic transactions would be more fair and straightforward.
Finally, it is unknown which gender preferred to wear the neck rings, though it is thought that it was gender agnostic and that the piece was worn by both men and women.
Brooches in the Shape of Rings
Brooches, for example, were additional items of jewelry in the shape of a ring that the Vikings owned. Brooches were used to keep garments in place by both males (when they were round in shape) and ladies (when they were oval in shape and had more ornate designs). They also functioned to keep the sword arm free in the case of men.
The Mysterious Viking Rings of Oath: Did They Really Exist?
However, there is no evidence that this was the case. The rings of oath Vikings appear to have had nothing to do with being a vassal of one feudal leader or another. In fact, they were most likely bracers similar to those mentioned above, but with a very distinct appearance, as they were made of gold or bronze, open, and completed with a diamond-shaped piece.
Furthermore, they are thought to have been made far earlier than the Vikings, in the Bronze Age, and could have been used as sacrifices in rituals when costly artifacts were tossed into lakes, rivers, or marshes.
Did Vikings Wear Rings?
Necklaces, armbands, and brooches were worn by men and women from all socioeconomic levels. Some of the jewelry was purely decorative, but it could also be a sign of riches. Other things, such as brooches, served a practical use as well: they were used to fasten clothing. There were also items of jewelry with symbolic significance, such as Thor’s hammers.
What Were Viking Rings Made of?
Arm rings and bands were the most common jewelry worn by Viking males in a community. As history says, they were a symbol of wealth and were frequently used as a form of exchange. The following are some interesting facts regarding Viking arm rings and armbands. They were constructed of bronze, gold, silver, iron, and copper, as well as other common and rare metals.
Why Did Vikings Wear Rings?
It wasn’t as if a Viking would wear rings only to have something to swear on. The warrior pledged his devotion to his lord (the jarl, sea king, chieftain, or king). On the other hand, the lord was under an implied obligation to reward loyalty with success and money to those who wore a Viking ring.
Now that you know all about the Viking rings era and how they were made, take a look at our business catalog, ring size description, and price for the very best rings available. If you’d like more information, please contact us via e-mail or phone.