The Vikings have always been deemed as brutal and fierce warriors whose basic motive was to kill and plunder. Besides being fearsome fighters, Vikings were also dexterous artisans. They were well-versed with craftsmanship and jewellery, such as wedding rings, and that was a way of life in Vikings culture. Rings were a sign of prestige, power and affluence. A person’s status and position could be figured out by the ring he wore. Here are some facts on Viking wedding rings.
- PREVALENCE OF RINGS IN VIKING CULTURE
Men and women both worerings as it was a representation of their societal status. Viking jewellery was composed of silver, bronze and gold. However, gold ornaments were meant for the elite class. Necklaces were worn by women whereas men wore rings in their fingers, wrists and even neck. Weapons were embellished with jewellery by the warriors. The skeletons of buried Vikings have been discovered with valuable rings on them. Other excavations have found hoards of Viking bangles, brooches, wedding rings et cetera
- CRAFTSMANSHIP AND SYMBOLISM
The artefacts discovered in Wood Quay and other sites make the astonishing skilfulness of Vikings ostensible to the world. Wedding rings were created by smelting precious metals which had been looted from monasteries in Britain. It was also associated with symbolism as it represented the beliefs of Vikings in various gods. For example, drakes and snakes depicted Odin, the most supreme god in Norse Mythology. Moreover, jewellery with Celtic designs was also common.
- BONDS OF LOYALTY
Rings made of precious metals were gifted to the warriors by affluent lords who possessed most of the wealth. This was done to establish alliance. Exchange of rings by lords was an expression of gratitude as well as a token of appreciation for the warrior. Thus, jewellery was highly valuable in Viking culture.
- MEDIUM OF TRADE
Initially, Vikings weren’t acquainted with coinage. It became a part of trading only after they got in touch with Western European civilisations. The common and prevalent currency was based on the weight of the metal objects and jewellery which was cut into pieces to get the desired weight. It was a means of exchange in Viking culture.
Vikings were fascinated by everything which lookedbeautiful. They were admirers of art and great craftsmen.Viking wedding rings were an important aspect of the culture. Several excavations have found multitude of artefacts which are over a thousand years old. Even after so many years, Vikingculture continues to thrive.