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found at Skaill, Sandwick, Orkney

Postcard of Bracelets.
© National Museums Scotland


These three silver bracelets and three fragments from two others are part of the largest Viking Age silver hoard found in Scotland. The hoard was buried at Skaill at Sandwick in Orkney sometime between 950 and 970.

These bracelets are examples of a distinctive type called 'ring-money' which is found in a number of Viking Age silver hoards from Scotland. They are plain, and all have nicks, small cuts made to test silver purity when the silver exchanged hands.

'Ring-money' highlights the overlap between ornament and bullion. They could be worn to display wealth, but when needed could be used as payment, cut up if necessary, and weighed on a balance. Some were manufactured to an approximate weight standard.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-580-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 33
Date: Deposited between 950 and 970
Material: Plain
What: Ring, penannular
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Sandwick, Skaill
Description: Plain penannular ring from Skaill
  • Graham-Campbell, James. The Viking-age gold and silver of Scotland (AD 850-1100). Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1995, pp. 34-48, 116. 
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