Most likely, when you hear the word "Viking," all that comes to mind are images of renowned warriors from antiquity or colonists who were constantly looking for new lands to settle. Perhaps many people nowadays are unaware of the Vikings' outstanding craftsmanship carving different types of Womens Viking Jewelry as well as Mens Viking Jewelry.
They possessed extraordinary talent for creating ornamental goods and jewelry, including rings, pendants, brooches, necklaces, and bracelets. The extremely intricate jewelry design they used serves as evidence for this claim. The intricate carvings on Viking jewelry frequently included snakes and other elements from Norse mythology.
The Production of Viking Jewelry
The "lost wax" technique was most frequently used to make jewelry in Viking times. Using this technique, the craftsman carved a stunning model of the object he intends to make. This hand-made model was crucial to the piece's final appearance, thus it required careful creation by knowledgeable hands. The jeweler would make a hollow wax mold of the piece after he was satisfied with the model. The wax mold was filled with molten metal. The wax mold was shattered and the jewelry was extracted from within when the metal had cooled and solidified. Jewelry has been made using the lost wax technique for more than 6,000 years. During their journeys, the Vikings picked it up from other cultures and brought the information and resources back with them.
Viking jewelry's initial design was rather simple, but it later developed into something more complex. This is explained by the Vikings' interactions with other cultures, who provided them with an increasing variety of ideas for jewelry design.
Archaeologists still have a tremendous desire to understand more about the Viking world of antiquity. The most significant historical finds of Viking-era jewelry were made almost entirely by accident.
The Use and Purpose of Viking Jewelry
The importance of jewelry in Viking society was enormous. It was significant in their lives and served more than just fashion needs. Some of the jewelry was said to possess healing powers.
Vikings covered their homes, ships, and even weapons with jewelry, in addition to their clothing, shields, and bodies. This is evidence that they loved jewelry. Jewelry served not just as ornaments but also as a means of exchange payment. For instance, silver jewelry was frequently used as cash and was referred to as "hack silver" because of its particular application.
Viking jewelry was extremely expensive since it was primarily constructed of precious metals. The Vikings frequently buried their jewelry (their wealth) to secure it in case of an attack precisely because of this.
Due to contact with the Islamic world in the ninth century, silver and other precious metals entered Viking society specifically as a medium of commerce. Over 100,000 Islamic silver coins from the Viking Age have already been discovered in Scandinavia. The Vikings and the people they were at war with may exchange money both during the trade and during the signing of an agreement or ceasefire. These silver Islamic coins, along with those from numerous other cultures, are said to have been melted down and used by the Vikings to create their jewelry.
The Vikings made their jewelry out of various metals based on their level of riches. The poorer classes manufactured jewelry out of animal bones and wood because they could not afford metals like silver and bronze. Because gold was only reserved for the Viking community's wealthiest families, gold jewelry was infrequently discovered.
Viking jewelry served as a form of payment for trade as well as a decorative element in the grim world. Too expensive or substantial ornaments shattered into pieces before a fair price could be paid. It was utilized in the same way as modern coins and bills are. Viking jewelry was made not just of metals, but also of precious stones and minerals.
The designs based on Norse mythology also contained symbolism. Torshammer, for instance, was a lucky piece of jewelry. Check out Relentless Rebels' selection of Viking jewelry. The line mimics Viking jewelry and has some Norse-inspired creativity.
The Vikings' way of life frequently required lengthy sea voyages. This implied that at least once a year, Viking males were probably separated from their families for a period of time.
As a result, the Vikings frequently gave arm rings to their brides as a token of their affection, often with special engravings and marks. The husband asked his wife to be faithful till he was back by her side with a silent motion of the arm rings between the spouses.
The bracelets undoubtedly had a significant emotional and social significance for the prehistoric Northmen.
Along with their clothing, shields, and bodies, Vikings also decked their houses, ships, and even their weapons with jewels. This demonstrates their love of jewelry. In addition to being used as ornaments, jewelry also served as a medium of commerce. Silver jewelry, sometimes known as "hack silver," was widely utilized as a method of payment. A merchant might weigh the smaller pieces of jewelry after the owner had cut them into smaller ones and determined their monetary trade value. This was nearly as practical as using coins.
Gold and silver As these precious metals were extremely uncommon in Scandinavia, Viking jewelry was very expensive. In order to protect their jewelry from attackers or thieves, the Vikings frequently buried it in hidden hoards. In an emergency, this stockpile could be uncovered. Alternatively, it might be interred with the dead for use in Valhalla. Depending on their level of wealth, the Vikings used different metals to make their jewelry. Because they could not afford metals like silver and bronze, the lower classes created jewelry from animal bones and wood. Gold jewelry was rarely found because it was only kept by the richest households in the Viking community.
Due to interactions with the Islamic world in the ninth century, valuable metals like silver and gold were introduced into Viking civilization specifically as a means of trade. In Scandinavia, about 100,000 Islamic silver coins from the Viking Age have already been found. Money was sometimes exchanged between the Vikings and the nations they were at war with, either in commerce or as a settlement to stop hostilities. It is believed that the Vikings melted down many of these Islamic coins as well as coins from many other cultures and utilized the metal to make jewelry.
Viking Jewelry Styles
Viking-era inhabitants wore a variety of jewelry. A few of them are listed below.
The primary tool for securing garments was a brooch.
Married women pinned matching sets of sizable brooches to the shoulder area of their overdresses. Women's paired brooches came in a variety of shapes and designs depending on the location, but many employed openwork. Women frequently hung ornaments from the bottom of the brooches or strung metal chains or strings of beads between the brooches.
Different metals, iron wires, and natural fibers were used to create necklaces. Precious stones, amber, glass beads, resins, and metallic charms were used to create pendants. Pendants were frequently presents, mementos, or religious symbols that held sentimental meaning for the person wearing them. Both sexes wore neck jewelry composed of gold, silver, or bronze.
These necklaces and festoons occasionally included pendants in addition to beads. Some of these were amulets, including small thrones or seats, crosses, or Thor's hammers, which some academics think were used in the worship of Odin.
The rings found in Viking graves were wearable on various fingers and had varying sizes. The number of Viking wedding bands is substantial. Tin, bronze, and silver were the most widely used materials.
In the Viking era, rings were a fairly common type of jewelry and were worn around the finger. Penannular rings with open ends were common. This may have been done to make it easier for them to fit on hands of various sizes. Only toward the end of the Viking era did finger rings start to catch on among the Vikings.
The gods and goddesses of Celtic mythology are occasionally depicted with torcs around their necks or in their hands. Torcs may also dangle from the god Cernunnos' antlers or be clutched in his hand. Given that the torc was a symbol of aristocracy and high social rank, this could be a representation of the deity as the source of strength and wealth. Although other Celts at the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC were dressed, Polybius characterized the gaesatae, Celtic soldiers from modern-day northern Italy or the Alps, as being nude but for a torc. This is how the famous Roman replica of the original Greek sculpture shows a wounded Gaulish warrior.
The bracelet was one of the most distinctive and important pieces of Viking jewelry since it symbolized someone who was on the rise. It served as a representation of someone who had accomplished something exceptional or wonderful that set them apart from others.
In other instances, the design determined the meaning of a Viking bracelet. Different elements and symbols, especially those worn by warriors during battles and raids, were thought to bestow the wearer with particular abilities. White Norse magic gave rise to the rune alphabet, which was employed. During warfare, it typically provided blessings and protection. The Mjolnir, often known as Thor's hammer, was another amulet that represented strength and protection. Although different bracelets impart a range of qualities, they also have some things in common. It was to guarantee that the wearer returned home in peace having won the battle.
As was previously indicated, the Vikings regarded arm rings as a representation of an oath and a commitment.
Arm bands and arm rings play a significant role in Viking lore, and the majority of those that have been unearthed were located close to graveyards and treasure troves.
Nordic earrings were intricate and encircled the full ear, unlike modern earrings. According to historians, the Vikings didn't wear earrings. They were made by the Norsemen and had Slavic ancestry.
Both Viking Men and Women Wore Jewelry
Jewelry was worn by both Viking men and women as a symbol of their riches.
The Vikings' propensity for jewelry use among both men and women is another intriguing aspect of them. They attempted to beautify whatever they produced, including buildings, ships, weapons, and apparel. In the Viking era, ladies wore neither finger rings nor earrings. even if they had oval necklaces and brooches. Usually, precious stones are utilized in jewelry, but during the Viking Age, we noticed a dearth of stones. Moreover, silver-based items are frequently found in the Vikings' hoards. Gold was utilized as well, but it was only discovered in the Hon hoard. Men frequently wore pendants of Thor's hammer.
Vikings were great explorers, great and sometimes cruel warriors, but was just part of their lives to conquer new places to colonize and improve their lives . No doubt that Vikings were versatile people who were more than just explorers and warriors.
They were exceptionally skilled creating different jewelry styles by using different materials, they loved wearing jewelry to not just add glamour to their outfits, but also as symbols of wealth, and sometimes as healing power objects.