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!
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 🙂
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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 🙂
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:
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!
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