Original Viking jewellery was wonderfully made using materials such as Gold and Silver and worn as a sign of wealth and status. Bronze, Copper, coloured glass and even animal bone tended to be worn by the poorer Vikings and worn by both men and women.
The Vikings amalgamated designs from different cultures with their own and created their own intricate and ornate style with animals such as bears, wolves and serpents featuring prominently in the designs. A very wide range of jewellery was produced by the Vikings, arm rings, finger rings, pendants and brooches. The techniques used include casting, carving and stamping the metals which were then decorated by applying granulation and filligree.
Foreign coins and trinkets could be incorporated into the jewellery, especially in the strings of beads and pendants that hung between the brooches on women's clothing. It was mainly through jewellery that people expressed their regional identity and social standing.
Often designed for both function and beauty, brooches, bracelets, pendants and arm bands were all important in Viking society. Jewellery was frequently cut into pieces and used to buy goods from the local market as an early form of currency before a coinage system became widespread in Viking cultures.
In Norse mythology, Thor's hammer defended both humans and gods from harm, often amulets were worn as a sign of devotion to him and their popularity may have been partly a reaction to the wearing of crucifixes by Christians.