Viking Gold Arm Ring

Contributed by Yorkshire Museum

Viking Arm Ring made of twisted plain and filigree solid gold strands © York Museums Trust (Yorkshire Museum)

This was found hidden amongst the possessions of a York builder after his death. He had never mentioned a word about it.This rare gold Viking armlet is only the second of its kind to be discovered in Britain. It was found among the everyday possessions of a York builder after his death. The builder's son and daughter brought it to the Yorkshire Museum for identification, it was declared to be Treasure and York Museums Trust purchased it. The ring is made of 95% gold and weighs over 300g. In Viking England, armlets were given by powerful lords to secure allegiance from their followers. Bestowing such gifts was a demonstration of wealth and power by Vikings, who captured York in 866AD and ruled it until 954AD. There is debate about how this arm ring was made. When the treasure report was completed, it was thought that the rods of gold were held together and then twisted. However, jewellers who have studied the object think that this is not possible, and that the armlet may be cast as a single piece.

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Location
Culture
Period
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Size
H:
26cm
W:
15cm
Colour
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