You may think, reading the title of this article, "Viking rings? What's interesting about that? If the Vikings were people with hair on their chest, rough and brutal, surely they did not have time to dedicate their jewelry ... ". Well, it's not true! In fact, the Vikings loved to adorn themselves with all kinds of jewelry and, in fact, some of their pieces had a great symbolic meaning.
In addition, the Viking rings not only had beautiful designs, which became increasingly intricate with the passage of time , but there were of all classes, not just for the fingers. For example, remains of rings for the neck (a kind of rigid necklaces) and for the arms, and even brooches with a circular shape have been found. In this article we have separated them by types and we will see what they meant for the vikings .
Viking rings | Beautiful and mysterious!
A few notes on Viking jewelry
In general, both men and women wore all types of Viking jewelry , although it seems that women used to wear more brooches and necklaces, while men opted for rings of all kinds. In addition, not only people adorned, but it was also customary to decorate weapons with this type of pieces.
Usually, the jewels were made of silver or bronze, and gold was reserved only for the elite and. And how did the Vikings get these precious metals? Through trade and, more usually, from the incursions they made in England and elsewhere.
Viking rings for the fingers
The most classic and known Viking rings may be the rings of all life, that is, those that are put on the fingers. Keep in mind, however, that this piece of jewelry only became popular from the late Viking era. At that time, however, they were an incredible success, since hundreds of pieces have been found in Viking tombs.
How were these rings? Usually, they did not end in a closed circle, but they were open , possibly to be able to regulate them and get different sizes for different fingers. Finally, they had an irregular thickness.
Viking rings for the arm
Perhaps even more popular than the Viking rings for the fingers, bracelets served both to trade and to demonstrate the social status of the person wearing it. They had very different designs (which, again, depended on the status of the bearer), some more intricate than others, and whimsical shapes. For example, there were those that were thick and heavy, while others had a spiral shape. This form was one of the most popular, since the bracelets were used as coins, that is, during a commercial exchange, the bearer could break a piece of the end to use it in the transaction.
Rings for the neck
The purpose, use and design of the Viking rings for the neck (a kind of necklaces, but with a more rigid design) is practically identical to that of bracers , that we just explained. It is worth pointing out that they were constructed with identical weights and designs so that commercial transactions were fairer and easier to carry out.
Although useful, Vikings preferred bracelets and necklaces, which tended to be made of glass and to represent something that had a personal meaning for the bearer.
Finally, it is not known for sure which gender preferred to wear the neck rings, although it is believed that it was quite indifferent , and that was a piece worn by both men and women.
The Vikings also had other pieces of jewelry in the shape of a ring, for example, the brooches. Used both by men (when they were round in shape) and by women (when they had an oval shape and more intricate designs), the brooches were used to keep clothes in place. In the case of men, they also served to keep the arm of the sword free.
The mysterious Viking rings of oath: did they really exist?
There is a belief that claims of the existence of mysterious Viking rings that were used to take oath to the feudal lords. This legend seemed to originate from the television series Vikings , although in fact it goes further, until the nineteenth century, when they tried to justify the appearance of strange rings in Iceland linking them to sagas of vassalage.
However, nothing proves that this was the case. It seems that the rings of Vikings of oath had nothing to do with being a vassal of one or the other feudal chief. In fact, it is likely that they were bracers such as those we have discussed above, only with a quite different appearance, since they were made of gold or bronze, open and finished with a diamond-shaped piece. In addition, it is estimated that they were created in a time much earlier than the Vikings, more specifically in the Bronze Age, and could be used as sacrifices in rituals in which valuable objects were thrown into lakes, rivers or swamps.
We hope you found this article of Viking rings interesting or that, at least, it has caught your attention. Tell us, do you like jewelry? What do you think of the Viking style rings? Do you think we've forgotten to mention something? Remember that you can tell us what you want in the comments!