Raymond's Quiet Press

The Viking treasure necklace (or plunder necklace is a beautiful work of art.  It looks at first glance like a bit of a mess, because it goes against our modern ideas as to what a necklace is supposed to look like.  Namely, these necklaces are not perfectly symmetrical.

Viking Treasure Necklace

A great resource for information on the plunder necklaces is the Viking Answer Lady webpage, which is where I have gotten a good deal of my information.  The Vikings were so enamored with beads that they are (along with pottery, nails and knives) the single most common items found in pre-Christian Viking graves.  Due to the labor intensive process that went along with making the beads, they were expensive, and frequently handed down to younger relatives, gathered from raids, and purchased in market towns such as Haithabu (Hedeby).

The beads range from colored glass to jet, amber, amethyst, garnet, silver, gold and bronze.  The pendants that they used could vary from unusual to large beads or charms or coins from foreign lands.


Now, for the fun part: Making the necklaces!  There are certain rules for their construction, listed below:

1.  All large or unusual beads are used as 'dividers and are placed evenly spaced around a circle.

    a.   If you want more pendants, you can use wire and small beads to make more by placing them on a wire, creating a loop and then twisting the ends into a "stalk', and wrapping that 'stalk' to form a loop for the necklace string to go through.

2.  Next, start picking pairs of beads of similar size, shape and tone (Dark, light ornate bead, etc.) and placing them across each other on your necklace
Viking Necklace Diagram
3.  Continue placing beads until all the spaces are filled.

    a.  Sometimes a shorter pattern can be placed around a pendant to emphasize it.

4.  Once your spaces are filled, pick a point and start stringing your beads and charms.

    a. I recommend metal wire, as it will hold up better than thread or string.

And there you have it!  Your own treasure necklace, period appropriate and uniquely you!

Written by Asfridr Riksdottir

Written by Ray Moseley — March 31, 2016


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