3 Main Characteristics of Norse Jewelry

• May 15, 2022

Jewelry form an integral part of defining our beauty.
Various kinds of jewelry are available for our use. Often, you’ll notice the trend of people, more especially the celebrities, wearing Norse jewelry.

Have you ever wondered why they are so popular? Well, we’ll look into that together with a keen interest in detailing their characteristics.

About Norse Jewelry

Norse jewelry can be traced back to the medieval North Germanic ethnolinguistic group.

The history of how the warriors, raiders, and navigators of the Norse world, also called Vikings, is still of interest to many people.

The common history among the Viking tribes is that they had jewelry. Therefore, Norse jewelry is as old as the Viking tribes.

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The Role of Jewelry in Viking History

It is not a secret that Vikings had a great love for their jewelry and would adorn everything with it.

To show how they valued their jewelry, the craftsmen in charge of creating these pieces of jewelry were paid handsomely.
They also received adoration from the public.

After receiving their jewelry, the Vikings would use them for decoration in different places like clothing, weapons, longboats, and houses.

During the decoration, some jewelry would be broken. Such pieces would be used for payments.

Personal jewelry had various roles among the Vikings as explained here:

Used as rewards

Loyal subjects were rewarded with Norse jewelry. They could have been in form of rings and brooches.

They spoke a special language of reward, which was used to encourage good deeds to the ruler. Using Norse jewelry as a form of reward was a sign of a great ruler.

The rewards were not the same for all people.
The rich received their jewelry create from gold and silver while the poor had their created from bronze or bones of animals.
Regardless of the element used, it was prestigious to be awarded Viking jewelry.

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Symbols of status and protection

Historically, the jewels were used to show courage amongst the Vikings.
It was also a source of honor to tribal customs, political alignment, and lineage.
Some of the Norse jewelry had symbols of power represented by creatures like dragons, wolves, and other mystical beings and beasts.
The jewelry could also be used for protection when worn around the necks of the Vikings.

Used as Gifts

Unique Characteristics of Norse Jewelry

Norse jewelry has various forms of symbolism, thus, contains unique characteristics that define it.
Here are three basic characteristics that would help you identify Norse jewelry.

  1. They are very ornate

By nature, pieces of Norse jewelry are complex. They have various designs, motifs, emblems, and patterns.

You will realize that all the complex designs have mystical meanings. The meanings were derived from the Vikings.

Even after the end of the Viking Age, the descendants of Vikings somewhat used the ornate designs of Viking jewelry and their new tribe’s designs.

The result was a hybrid form of Norse or Viking jewelry.
They are quite common in the modern world where craftsmen are trying to recreate the ornate designs merged with modern jewelry designs.

It is worth examining this trait as you look for unique Norse jewelry in a jewelry shop.

To understand the complexity of Norse jewelry, you’ll need a knowledgeable seller who can explain the origin of the design that you are seeking to buy.

  1. Have many symbols

If you are into symbols in jewelry, then Norse jewelry opens up a whole opportunity for you to explore various symbols.
They had many symbols that told their incredible tales, which were passed from generation to generation.

The tradition of storytelling kept these tales alive and people could associate with the symbols.

Each symbol used in Viking and Norse jewelry has a unique meaning.

When planning to buy your Norse jewelry, it is important that you understand the meaning of the symbol it holds.

It could be significant to you if you are planning to gift someone. Here are some symbols that you might consider:

Ravens: In real life, we associate ravens with mystery, fear, or death.

However, their significance in the old Norse world is quite different from what we perceive ravens to represent.

In the old Norse world, they were the eyes and ears of the god, thus, very far from representing impending danger. So, in a Norse jewelry, ravens represent wisdom and divine presence.

Wolves: A wolf was used to represent strength, independence, and loyalty. Therefore, a piece of jewelry with a wolf could go away to cement this statement.

Yggdrasil, the World Tree: This symbol represents a profound icon of connection. If you gift someone a piece of Norse jewelry with a tree-shaped symbol, it would mean that you are connected to them or you are telling that that you are seeking a connection with them.

These are just a few of the symbols that were present at the time. You can ask your retailer to explain other symbols that you are interested in before you buy Norse jewelry.

  1. They are made from precious metal

In the old Norse world, jewelry was made from precious metals. Bronze was the most popular metal available in old Scandinavia. However, after trading activities started, Viking artisans got silver and gold. They were used to improve the quality of the ornaments.

Today, stainless steel is used to make Viking jewelry. This metal works to mimic the quality and sheen of old Norse jewelry.

In modern times, people use Norse jewelry for its profound symbolism. Therefore, you might not be able to afford hold or silver Norse jewelry but the stainless steel works perfectly as gifts to loved ones.


Now that you know the main characteristics of Norse jewelry, you can confidently purchase a piece and use it symbolically.

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