Hidden treasure: Gold ring once worn by a Viking chief more than 1,200 years ago is discovered in a pile of costume jewelry auctioned off online

Hidden treasure: Gold ring once worn by a Viking chief more than 1,200 years ago is discovered in a pile of costume jewelry auctioned off online

Buried in a pile of costume jewelry was an ancient gold ring that archaeologists say once belonged to a powerful Viking chief.

Mari Ingelin Gausvik Heskestad, from Norway, spotted the ring among cheap bracelets, earrings and pendants in a photo at an online action and believed it had to be something special.

The lightweight ring was likely made during the Late Iron Age, which was a period between 400 AD and 800 AD, and worn by a man based on the band size.

Archaeologist Unn Pedersen, who analyzed Heskestad’s discovery, told DailyMail.com: ‘This is a distinct type of ring known from Viking-age finds, including Norwegian graves.

‘Some of these rings are made of gold, others of silver and some of gilt copper alloy.’

Although there are no records on this ring, a similar one was found in Norway in 2019 that also belonged to a Viking chief – providing more evidence that the newly discovered jewelry is what experts believe it is.

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Buried in a pile of costume jewelry was an ancient gold ring that archaeologists say once belonged to a powerful Viking chief (pictured)

Both men and women wore jewelry during the Viking age, and it was a symbol of the individual’s wealth.

Silver was very common, but gold pieces showed the wearer had a high status within their community – along with possessing more riches.

‘Gold was a valuable and expensive material in the Viking Age, used actively to symbolize power, to gain power over others and to establish hierarchies,’ Pedersen told DailyMail.com.

‘Finger rings are for example found in the Hoen hoard, a Viking Age treasure with numerous items of gold.

Mari Ingelin Gausvik Heskestad, from Norway, spotted the ring (circled) among cheap bracelets, earrings and pendants in a photo at an online action and believed it had to be something special.

Although there are no records on this ring, a similar one was found in Norway in 2019 (pictured) that also belonged to a Viking chief – providing more evidence that the newly discovered jewelry is what experts believe it is

‘Therefore I find it likely that it was used by someone in the elite, possibly one of the many chiefs of smaller territories.

‘Based on the information provided by the local archaeologists this particular ring is of a size that would fit a man, but finger rings of gold from the Viking age are actually also found in female graves.

‘And I think that the extremely well equipped Oseberg ship burial illustrates that females could be chiefs too.’

She continued to explain that gold was rare during this era and was only ‘reserved for the richest and most powerful people in society.’

The most recent Viking-related discovery, released last month, was not jewelry, but the potential grave of the famous ‘Bluetooth’ Viking king.

Both men and women wore jewelry during the Viking age, and it was a symbol of the individual’s wealth. Silver was very common, but gold pieces showed the wearer had a high status within their community – along with possessing more riches

The most recent Viking-related discovery, released last month, was not jewelry, but the potential grave of the famous ‘Bluetooth’ Viking king

Archaeologists believe the burial mound of Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormsson, a Viking king who reigned over Denmark in the ninth century and is the inspiration for Bluetooth technology, is located in Wiejkowo, Poland.

Researchers used LiDAR technology, which measures distance by shooting a laser at a target and analyzing the light that is reflected back – allowing them to see what could possibly be the burial mound from space.

Bluetooth, a Viking-born king who turned his back on old Norse religion and converting to Christianity.

Researchers used LiDAR technology, which measures distance by shooting a laser at a target and analyzing the light that is reflected back – allowing them to see what could possibly be the burial mound from space. Right is a drawing of Bluetooth

He is noted for bringing Christianity to Denmark and earned the nickname Blåtand (meaning blue tooth) because of a dead tooth that is said to have been a dark blue.

The Viking ruled over Denmark from 958 AD to 986 and is known for constructing several fortresses and bridges.

However, Bluetooth died in 986 (some say it was 985) during a rebellion led by his son Sweyn, who wanted to take over his father’s throne – and did so successfully.

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