Bracelets of silver

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From Burray, Orkney

Postcard of Bracelets of silver.
© National Museums Scotland

Bracelets of silver

These two silver bracelets are part of the large Viking Age silver hoard found at Burray in Orkney, deposited between around 997 and 1010. They are examples of a distinctive bracelet type common in Scotland, called 'ring-money'.

One bracelet has four nicks, where it has been cut to test the purity of its silver during its circulation. In fact, analysis has shown it is of much less pure silver than the other bracelet which has no nicks. They weigh 51.7 and 72.3 grams.

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

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-622-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 251
Date: 997 - 1010 AD
997 - 1010 AD
Deposited around 997 and 1010
Material: Silver; small straight bar
Silver; small straight bar
What: Ring, arm
Ring, arm
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Burray
Scotland, Orkney, Burray
Description: Silver arm ring from the Burray hoard, 997 - 1010 AD
Silver arm ring from the Burray hoard, 997 - 1010 AD
  • Graham-Campbell, James. The Viking-age gold and silver of Scotland (AD 850-1100), 1995, pp. 51-2, 131-41. 
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