Ancient Viking Jewelry

When picturing ancient Vikings, jewelry does not usually come to mind, most people picture savages with huge swords, and long sharp spears attacking costal towns. However these ancient Norse people did make beautiful rings, bracelets, necklaces, and other types of jewelry out of such precious metals as gold and silver. Early in their history the Vikings jewelry was very simple, but later in the Viking era they created beautiful intricate pieces.

Below you will find a list of interesting facts about the jewelry of the Vikings followed by information on a few of the major discoveries of Viking jewelry artifacts.

Ancient Viking Jewelry Facts

Ancient Viking Jewelry - The Silverdale Hoard

In September 2011 a huge hoard of old Viking artifacts dating back to around 900 A.D. was discovered just outside Silverdale, Lancashire in England. The find consisted of more than two hundred pieces of jewelry and coins stored away centuries ago in a metal casket. A man named Darren Webster found this treasure while using his metal detector in a field which he had previously scanned several times. When the light on his detector indicated a find he dug about sixteen inches down unearthing what initially appeared to be just a metal sheet. His disappointment quickly gave way to incredible excitement as he raised the metal object and silver items began pouring out. He realized almost immediately that he had discovered a hoard of old Viking items.
The Silverdale Viking Hoard weighed approximately two pounds (1kg) and included:

Ancient Viking Jewelry - Huxley Hoard

Around 1989 21 silver arm rings were unearthed near Huxley in Cheshire County England by a man named Steve Reynoldson who made the discovery with his metal detector. Many of the rings were decorated with an intricate diagonal cross design and a few are unfinished. All were flattened down before being buried. It is believed that these pieces were to be melted down and reused or used for trade. The arm rings are believed to be from the first decade of the 10th century AD.

Viking Gold Ring Discovery - Blackwater River

In the late 1980's the Blackwater River in Ulster Ireland was undergoing a dredging project and parts of it were drained. Sometime during this a man named Glenn Crawford used the opportunity to search the river bottom for treasure with his metal detector. What he found was indeed treasure. He unearthed a spectacular Viking gold annular rod finger ring which is believed to date back to the ninth century AD. It is probable that the ring fell from an ancient Norse warrior’s finger into the river during one of the many raids they conducted on the nearby city of Armagh in 832 AD.