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In the history of the Viking civilization, Viking jewelry was considered something very important. It was an integral part of life, with craftsmen taking it fully into consideration in their design work.
Finally, in addition to necklaces, jewelry also includes Viking bracelets and Viking rings. Each of them had a deep meaning in addition to being perfect decorative objects. If today's contemporary creations of artists integrate other elements, originally, necklaces allowed them to display their social status, their relationship with mythological animals and nature. Because yes, the Vikings were fascinated by the environment that surrounded them.
In Viking society, wearing a necklace had many meanings. To show their love for their faith in Gods, Vikings wore pendants around their necks. It was a way to show respect to the members of the pantheon. This practice concerned all the part of the population, men and women, young or older.
Women Viking Necklaces are also present in Norse mythology. Freya was the goddess of love, beauty, attraction, prophecies and fertility. Twin of the god Freyr, she has a necklace, called the necklace of Brisingar, which is made of gold and amber. It is said that she has an irresistible charm when she wears it. This proves that the necklace has an important place in the Viking culture, both for men and for the gods.
Having a Norse pendant around the neck also allowed to have in oneself the magical powers it contained. These abilities would be given by all the gods and creatures within their belief. A Viking warrior was stronger if he wore his necklace when fighting his enemies. He would then increase his abilities tenfold and could defeat any other person.
The necklace worn by the Vikings was also a way to display their social status. On their jewelry, one could find all kinds of precious stones. These could only be worn by the rich and noble of the society. The more modest Vikings could not afford to have such valuable pieces on them. The display of this social status is mostly done by the rich because they do not have to worry about the basic needs of hydration and food. Generally rulers of their towns or villages, they used what was made for the community.
With the fame of the ships they built, we know that the Vikings were very skilled in designing all kinds of objects. To make their necklaces, they had several special tools for this purpose. These included hammers, pliers, pincers, anvils and especially crucibles. Archaeological discoveries have made it possible to find molds dedicated solely to the creation of jewelry. To make these molds, the Vikings inserted an existing lead model into clay. This is how the craftsmen were able to produce a large number of jewels and thus mass produce.
The decoration of the different jewels is done with special materials. There is thus finally a great chain of supply which was set up at that time in order to make it possible to the Viking craftsmen to manufacture collars or rings. The merchants who worked in the neighboring countries had a role to play.
As these are important objects, and given the use they made of them, the Nordic peoples had to wear beautiful jewelry on them. That is why they used precious materials. Metals such as gold, silver and bronze were highly prized because they allowed them to shine among their people. They were accompanied by various pendants made of glass beads or amber for the poorest. The richest had the means to add precious stones or even crystals. In most of the necklaces with pearls, there were one, two or three. To see more than three pearls on a necklace was extremely rare. People who wore such an object had an important status in society and a certain wealth.
The pendants on these necklaces were religious symbols and mementos that held meaning for the wearer. An iconic and popular symbol such as Thor's hammer would make the Viking stronger in battle. More common were amulets such as arrowheads and axes.
To bind all these items together, Viking craftsmen used wire and natural fibers of various lengths and sizes to fit all neck sizes.
For this reason, they ruled Europe for some time. Considered as valiant warriors with their spears, axes and shields, Mens Viking Necklace were mostly known as serious raiders.
Various historical researches have shown that the inhabitants of the Nordic countries carried out a number of raids throughout Europe. Their travels took them as far as the Caspian Sea or the Mediterranean Sea, creating contact with North Africa. But it was in Northern Europe and particularly in England that the Vikings carried out most of their actions.
The first Viking raid on Britain took place in 789 on the island of Portland. But it was the sacking of the Lindisfarne monastery in 793 that set the tone for invasions that would last until 1066, the year the Viking Age ended. This attack on a religious building will allow the warriors and Nordic traders to take many objects such as plates, glasses but also jewels such as necklaces, rings and other treasures of the monastery.
Among all the objects they brought back home, a large place was given to jewelry such as necklaces. But why were they so keen to bring this back from their raids? Besides the prestige it brings, the many pieces of jewelry had a special place in Viking culture.
Necklaces could be used as currency. At that time, most transactions and trade were based on the barter system. The numerous jewels could also be used in trade. This is also why the Vikings used mainly precious metals to make their jewelry. In case an ornament was too big or used too much precious metal for a transaction, the Vikings could break the piece into smaller pieces to suit both parties. This is called the "breaking silver" process. Even the dead who were buried were surrounded by different jewels because the Vikings thought that they should have enough money to live comfortably in the next world.
Finally, the jewels of the Nordic people were used as currency as we know it today with coins and banknotes.
Viking history in England does not stop at simple plundering. In 865, the Great Viking Army landed in Britain with the firm intention of conquering and colonizing the land. At the time, it was one of the largest armed forces on the European continent.
Finally, some members of the Viking community opted for a necklace that was a bit unusual. These were neck rings, which were very tight. Made of bronze, gold or silver, they were more rare because they did not provide the comfort of a necklace. Rings were also visible jewelry on the wrist or arm. Extremely popular, rings also became established in Viking culture.
The Vikings were a warlike and plundering people but they also loved fashion. They tried to integrate necklaces and other jewelry into their daily lives. They were therefore used to show their faith and social status. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Viking ornaments also allowed them to pay for things in the form of exchange. The jewelry was thus similar to money in a wallet. This contradicts the image of a barbaric people that we can make of the Nordic. They were organized, ahead of other civilizations, which allowed them to dominate a certain part of Europe. The rich Viking culture continues to live on through the years.
The numerous coups of this army will then create the Danelaw. This is a part of Great Britain where the law of the Danes was applied, during the time of the Danish and Norwegian Viking raids. This concerned the English kingdoms of Northumbria and East Anglia.
Of this passage and this sovereignty, there are still traces. Several Viking necklaces have indeed been found in eastern England.
In 1876, at the home of the Gibsons, on their hillside property, a necklace dating from the Saxon period was found. It dates precisely from 875 to 900 A.D. when the Danes were present in large numbers on the English territory and were facing Alfred the Great, king of Wessex.
On this Viking necklace, we find carnelian, glass, silver and crystal beads as well as pendants in plain silver and gilded silver, decorated with a ribbon motif in Scandinavian style. This jewel was found on a Scandinavian woman, who was, at the time, in a cemetery. The plain silver pendant is inscribed with a cross, which may show that its owner had accepted the Christian religion of her neighbors. Such a piece would have belonged to a Viking with some status in her society.
Another Viking necklace from this period has been found and is on display in the Jorvik Visitor Center in York, an English city with a long history with the Norse. It was the capital of a Viking kingdom during the passage of the Great Army. The necklace consists of 51 different pearls of very high quality. This jewel was discovered in the pit of a volva. Among the Vikings, the volvas were the priestesses who mastered the Nordic magic.