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Viking Bracelet

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Buying Viking Bracelet

A Viking bracelet with two dragon heads or Thor’s hammer; a Viking bracelet is not just a beautiful accessory, but the design is based on centuries-old Norse mythology. The material, shape and the symbols each have their own meaning. The courageous Vikings wore an arm ring out of loyalty, love and combativeness. You can pick a cool and sturdy viking bracelet that fits you best!

Viking Bracelet Meaning

The meaning of a Viking bracelet is not entirely known to us. Archeologists and other relik experts have several ideas about the potential value these bracelets had for the Vikings. For example, these arm rings are believed to have symbolised loyalty and courage, which is why important and powerful men often gifted their warriors these bracelets. Additionally, the bracelet is mentioned several times in Viking stories, such as in Frithiof’s Saga. The saga tells the story of a man who is about to embark on a great journey. He presents his bride with an arm ring, as a token of his love and loyalty and in the hope that she will not be unfaithful when he is gone. In this case, the bracelet is a token of eternal love 🙂

Other Purposes of the Viking Bracelet

In addition to the fact that the bracelet is believed to have more than one meaning, the bracelet was purportedly meant to fulfil several purposes. This mainly had to do with the value of the bracelets. Experts on Viking history believe that the bracelets were used for, amongst other things, the following purposes:

A Token of Loyalty

It is believed that the legendary king Hrothgar had the reputation of ‘ring-giver’. The king presented his Viking warriors with arm rings as a token of their loyalty to him. Additionally, this ‘ring-giving’ was a display of the king’s riches and of the fact that he willingly and generously shared these riches with his followers.

Medium of Exchange

It is believed that the arm ring was also used as a medium of exchange. The bracelets were forged in such a way that they were flat and flexible enough (just like manchet bracelets) to break off small pieces. The piece of silver that was broken off was then used as ‘payment’ for goods or services.

Paying Troops

In Addition to the fact that a Jarl or king gave the arm ring to a Viking as a token of gratitude for their loyalty, the bracelet was probably used as payment for the troops of Viking warriors. In these cases, the Vikings were presented with a simply designed bracelet, which would allow them to use this bracelet as a medium of exchange, as described above. 

Paying off Debts

Considering the fact that the Vikings, according to stories, did not use coins as payment method, debts were mainly paid off with jewellery. In case the jewel was of greater value than the debt, a piece of jewellery was broken off. The remaining piece was forged into another accessory.  

Reaching Maturity 

Lastly, according to stories, the Vikings presented an arm ring to their teenage boys to mark the beginning of the boy’s transition into adulthood. With this symbol, worn around the wrist, the young boy could begin training to become a real Viking!

Viking Symbols that Occur Often

Viking jewellery is often decorated with symbols from Norse mythology; gods, animals and/or signs from Viking stories. Below you will find a list of a couple of the Viking symbols you might find when looking for a Viking bangle:

  • Dragon head. There are many bangles with the depiction of dragon heads on them. Such a dragon head bracelet was presumably given to a boy on the day he would become a man, since the dragon symbolises immense strength, renewal and change. 
  • Viking wolf Fenrir. A wolf’s head is also often depicted on Viking jewellery. The wolf is a very important animal in Norse mythology and symbolises the power of nature and time, teamwork and shamanic powers.
  • Viking runes. The runes, the alphabet of the Norsemen, were not only meant to capture stories, but, according to myth, they were also magical. As a result, jewellery was often decorated with runes.
  • Thor’s hammer. Amongst Vikings, this was a very well-known symbol, because Viking warriors first and foremost worshipped Thor, the god of thunder. The hammer symbolises power, strength, courage, luck and protection.
  • Rune compass. Also called the Viking compass. The sign itself was not believed to have any effect on finding your way, but it symbolised a safe and fruitful journey. Whoever carries this sign will never lose the way; not in a storm, not in bad weather, not even when the path is unknown. 

Materials Used for a Viking Bracelet

The materials for a Viking bracelet were very important, because, as already stated before, a bracelet was also used as a medium of exchange. Thus, it was important for the material to be of value, such as, for example, silver. Modern Viking bracelets are made of all kinds of materials, such as stainless steel or brass. For example, for men, an antique silver-colour is used for the bracelets, and for women wrap bracelets with (faux)leather cords 🙂

Do it Yourself: Viking Bracelet

Of course you could also try and make a Viking bracelet yourself. Making a bracelet is not difficult, but preferably you want to use materials that are of value to you. Therefore, you might want to start by finding a Viking bracelet that appeals to you. Afterwards you can go and find materials that are fit for you, following these steps:

  1. Find beading material, such as a cord or a necklace chain, that fits the style that you are going for. You could adjust the chain in size, or make it into a wrap bracelet, for example. You could also choose to go for braided bracelets made of rope, to give your bracelet that real Viking vibe.
  2. Did you find the right beading material? Now you can go on to pick the decoration for your bracelet. There are plenty of symbolic Viking pendants, talismans or amulets that can be used as a charm for your bracelet. Furthermore, a birthstone pendant, a health pendant, a zodiac pendant or a skull pendant can also be used.
  3. Now that you have given meaning to your bracelet by choosing the right Viking charm, you can further decorate your bracelet, if that is what you want. You could choose to include, for example, gemstone beads, to put on the remaining ends of the cord. Of course you could also choose to keep it simple, without too many decorations.
  4. Lastly, there is also the option to create your own bracelet with handmade rune beads. To make a rune brangle, you could, for example, make beads out of tiny pieces of wood in which you carve rune signs. Perhaps, a real Viking would also have done it this way 😉

More Symbolic Beauty at Spiru

There is plenty more to choose from when it comes to accessories in the Viking style, but when it comes to jewellery, Spiru has a lot more to offer in the cultural area. What about mala bracelets, or mala necklaces from Hinduism and Buddhism? Or chakra pendants and chakra bracelets from Chinese medicine? Spiru also offers jewellery with a specific symbol, such as our flower of life earrings, tree of life pendants or ohm bracelets. Did you know that some accessories are believed to have some sort of effect because of the combination of materials used? If that sparks your interest, you should take a look at our magnetic bracelets. At Spiru you will find special and meaningful jewellery!