VIKING GOLD BRAIDED RING
Measurements: 2.5 cm - external diameter, 2 cm - internal diameter, 11.76 grams - weight.
Description: A massive solid gold hoop formed from one strand of twisted wire, the ends wound around the shank. It can be worn as a (rather large) ring or as a necklace pendant. The rings of this style were prolific throughout the Vikings period. The purity of gold is one of the highest standards. Examples of rings have been found in Viking graves, however, gold finds from the Viking age are rare, especially in comparison with silver. Gold always had an association with loyalty to the king, and the precious metal remained in circulation with a clique of people at the very top of the Viking social hierarchy.
In Scandinavian society during the Viking Age, where men lived and died by their honor, great importance was paid to the idea of gifting: for the Vikings finger rings were not merely ornamental. Rings were often used to cement bonds of loyalty between a lord and his warriors and followers. Bestowing such gifts was a demonstration of wealth and power.
Provenance: Ex Russian collection formed in the early 20th century.
Period: 9th - 11th century AD
Condition: Very fine example, some tiny nicks on the surface.