Viking Jewelry: Why Did the Vikings Wear Jewelry?

The Vikings were fierce warriors from Scandinavia, an area in Northern Europe. They were most powerful in the years 700-1000 CE. When it comes to Vikings, the first thing people will think of is the soldiers who wear helmets and wield spears and swords, not jewelry. However, the fact is that they also handcrafted exquisite jewelry, mainly made of gold, silver, bronze and animal bones. Viking jewelry can be traced back to the early Viking era (around 800 A.D.), and has becomes more and more exquisite with the development of Vikings'craftsmanship. So why did the Vikings wear Jewelry? Let’s read on.

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1.Viking Jewelry: Enhance their Style

During the age of Vikings, jewelry was a significant part of Viking life. Viking jewelry was made of different metals to small animal bones. Vikings loved wearing jewelry. You can notice that both men and women wore Viking jewelry to enhance their style. There were different types of Viking Jewelry they wore. They usually wore rings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches, especially Viking bracelets and rings. They were good at creating Viking jewelry. There are many Viking symbols  used to design jewelry. Thor’s Hammer, Vegvisir, Viking bear, axe, raven, runic are common symbols. Today we will talk about Thor’s Hammer and Vegvisir jewelry. 

 Thor’s Hammer

Thor's Hammer is one of the most popular symbols used to design Viking rings and pendants. It is used in viking jewelry designing due to its symbolized meaning.

During the age of Vikings, Thor's Hammers were often used as a protective talisman. It symbolizes power. The designers prefer to add this factor when designing modern Viking necklaces.


A vegvísir is an Icelandic magical stave intended to help the bearer find their way through rough weather. It symbolizes the guiding light in the lost way and help you overcome difficulties.

2.Viking Jewelry: A Symbol of Wealth and Status

The Social Class System of Vikings

The main value of Viking jewelry was to show their wealth and status.The poor usually wore Viking jewelry made of pewter, bronze and animal bones, while the rich wore gold and silver Viking jewelry. For most of the Viking age, there were only three societal classes. They consisted of jarls, karls, and thralls. At the top of the hierarchy was the class known as Jarls. They usually wore Viking jewelry made of gold and silver.

Karls were the free people. The main distinction between the karls and thralls was that the karls was considered free and had full protection under Viking law. The thralls were slaves.

The karl and thrall’s wore jewelry made of bronze and small animal bones. When it comes to modern Viking jewelry, the stainless steel jewelry is cheaper than silver and gold.

3.Viking Jewelry: Maintain Trade

The function of jewelry in Viking culture is unique. In addition to being a symbol of wealth, it is often used as currency. Vikings wore armbands and necklaces made of silver. They can cut down some the pieces of jewelry to pay as the currency.

The Vikings maintained trade relations with many regions. Archaeologists also found many products and currencies from other regions from the tombs in northern Europe. However, they preferred silver. Merchants carried scales with them and used silver pieces as weights. Over time, Vikings who were good at making certain utensils gradually became specialized craftsmen. They set up stores everywhere. The utensils produced by artisans were more decorated. They made tools, weapons and jewelry. Viking's jewelry is well-known up to now. It has a very complex manufacturing process. Brooches are usually made of wax, silver or bronze, polished and inlaid with colored stones or jewelry. Amber and dyed pebbles can be made into necklaces.

Final Words

Back to the Viking age, it is no doubt that Vikings were fond of wearing jewelry. Now we also can wear Viking Jewelry to show our love of Viking culture. Don’t forget to get your Viking Jewelry today!

Toady’s sharing is here. Thank you for reading. If you want to read more articles about Viking jewelry, read here. Or you can just read our previous posts here.

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