This silver arm ring is based on a Viking age piece housed in the National Museum of Denmark. Similar finds have also been uncovered in Sejero Denmark and in the 10th century Norwegian Slemmedal Hoard. The smaller rings that hang on the bracelet could have been used as currency as it would have been easy to cut off individual rings.
During the Viking age, the Anglo-Saxon economy consisted of silver coins in exchange for goods and services (Sheenan, 1998, pp. 166). In the rest of the UK and in Scandinavian silver was measured in weight rather than coinage when it came to pay for things. Silver finds from the period frequently include ingots and hack silver. Hack silver including items such as ingots, ornaments and jewellery that have been cut into fragments or have parts missing (Sheenan, 1998, pp. 167).
Therefore, bracelets such as this may have been used as a form of wearable currency. Potentially the small rings attached were our equivalent of spare change.
A find from Sejero Island in Denmark included silver coins folded on to the small rings. This find helps highlight the vast trading network that carried goods and bullion across Viking age Europe and shows how Vikings carried around their wealth.
Watch our how to below to take a closer look at how we created Silver Knotted bangle.
Sheehan, J., 1998. Early Viking Age Silver Hoards from Ireland. Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age, ed. Howard B. Clarke, Máire Ni Mhaonaigh, and Ragnall Ó Floinn (Dublin, 1998), pp.166-179.