Antique Jewellery Guide | Berganza

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jewellery terms glossary


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A glossary of jewellery terms


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VIKING

The Scandinavian sea-faring warrior civilisation flourishing between 8th-11th century AD.

The Viking craftsmen created jewellery rich in geometric and stylised animal design in intricate filigree and repoussé work. The most important jewellery to the Vikings were bands of metal, made up of hammered rounded rods of metal, either plain, simply twisted or in very elaborate and complex plaited designs. While appearing to be simple and rudimentary in design, these items of jewellery for the neck, arm or finger were in fact very difficult to manufacture.

To the Vikings, jewellery had the purpose of instantly displaying the wealth and status of the wearer. Fascinatingly jewellery was used as portable bullion and they would hack off sections as necessary to pay for goods or services. We know this from finding nicks on the edges of pieces of jewellery- nicks which prove that they would check that the jewellery was solid metal, not merely a plated base metal when bartering. These chunks of jewellery are known as ‘hack silver' or ‘hack gold'. 

Read more about the Viking period

View our current collection of Viking pieces



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Updated 30/07/2021 at 2:14PM

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