Why The Vikings Wore Jewelry?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Why The Vikings Wore Jewelry?

The question Why the Vikings wore jewelry might sound somewhat uninteresting. But as long as we try to fully answer the question, we will find out some awesome information that is related to the Viking culture. Indeed, a look at the reasons why the Vikings wore their jewelry can give us an image of a long-gone culture. 


The very first and original purpose of jewelry is to decorate. This is the primary purpose of all types of jewelry. With the shining and twinkling glow that the jewelry could offer to the outfit, it could make one's appearance so attractive that it could steal the look of many people. 

Image of Viking jewelry

Viking jewelry helped to better the appearance (Cre: Vikings TV Series)

The concept of glow in the ancient glow might have been different from the modern concept. The technology at that time wasn't powerful enough to create gorgeous jewelry as we can today. But people in the ancient age must have viewed their jewelry an important part to improve their appearance. 

Mark of Social Status

Yes, Viking jewelry was a mark of the social status. I remember reading a story of the Vikings trading for precious stones to create their jewelry. And of course, people with decent social position couldn't afford such jewelry with precious stones. Only the wealthy and the noble could. When they finally fulfilled their basic need, they would focus more on highlighting their social status. 

Image of Viking jarl with Viking jewelry

Precious jewelry was a way to highlight social status in Viking age (Cre: Vikings TV series)

Form of Currency

This might be the most unique reason why the Vikings wore their jewelry: as a form of currency. The Vikings wore arm and neck rings made of silver from which they could hack pieces of them off to pay for their goods and services. This is known as the "Hack Silver". 

Religious Belief 

The Vikings were famous for their deeply-ingrained belief in Norse Pantheon. They admired and respected their gods so much that they wanted to capture the qualities of their gods wherever they went. Among all the options, jewelry was the most favored. The Viking warriors once wore the Mjolnir Thor's hammer amulet to join the battle for they believed that their powerful amulet could evoke the power of Thor and protect them in their battle. (See more: Mjolnir Hammer Amulet Historical or Not?). Another example is the Viking ring from Goa. The ring is believed to depict the pair of wolves of Odin the Allfather, Geri and Freki.

Image of Viking Jewelry Thor hammer

Thor's Hammer Pendant with Keel Chain

In this day and age, when all left is the artifact and the remnants somewhere under the land, Viking jewelry has inspired us so much. Not only do they help us to express our admiration to Norse Pantheon but they also play an important role in adding extra style to our Viking look. If you are interested in stories behind Viking Jewelry, view HERE on BaviPower.

Another point to remember is that the Vikings wanted to worship their Viking goddess Freya with the practice of wearing jewelry. Freya was famous for her love for her mysterious husband. When her husband suddenly disappeared, she cried her eyes out and her tears became the finest stones in the cosmos. Freya's love for jewelry was infinite. She also had the famous Brísingamen necklace. With the great respect toward Norse Pantheon, the Viking practice of wearing jewelry was believed to be a way to show their respect to Freya. 

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  • Hi Sigrid,

    Many thanks for your sharing.
    Indeed, what they left for us are not mythology and sagas but various treasures which help us understand their life back then more as well.

    Ms Elly on

  • In Sweden we have very nice finds from Thor’s hammer. we also have 2,500 rune stones and and lots of king graves, lots of treasures.

    Sigrid on

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