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Viking rock crystal pendant in gold. A gold pendant set to centre with an oval keeled cabochon of natural unenhanced rock crystal in a closed backclaw and cutdown setting, the stylised triangular claws feature granule decoration which terminates to a slim linear border, the base continues with a single row of granulation, all to a secure suspension loop with fine ropework edges and raised triangular patterns, approximately 3.2cm in length. Tested yellow gold, circa 9th-11th century AD.
It is believed that crystal pendants such as this were used by seers (known as Völur or fjölkunnig) to practice the arts of sorcery and prophecy; these seers were held in such high regard that even Odin, the father of the gods, sought their advice about the future.
Further examples of Viking quartz amulets, mainly excavated at Visby, in Sweden, can be viewed in the Fornsal Historical Museum in Visby and at the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm.
A decorative solid or articulated jewel which hangs from a chain, bracelet, brooch, ring or earring. The pendant can be an addition to almost any form of jewellery.
The earliest pendants have been unearthed by archaeologists and are attributed to the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods and include organic materials such as teeth and bones. These discoveries display our innate desire to adorn ourselves since the beginning of man.
As man grew more sophisticated, so did the materials which were used for adornment. Ancient Egyptians and Romans wore pendants made with gold and silver, set with attractive gemstones and bearing symbolic motifs. The seafaring Vikings wore rock crystal amulets which were believed to have protective qualities and give the wearer the power of foresight.
The widespread adoption of Christianity in the Byzantine era introduced symbolic Christian symbols which were often worn as pendants, such as the now internationally recognisable cruciform.
Pendants have been created in a multitude of shapes and designs, from dainty and ornate articulated pieces through to sentimental lover's tokens in the shape of a heart, or a simple and elegant diamond drop: find your perfect pendant at Berganza.