Sterling silver. Width 1/4 in. Available in size 6, 7, or 8. The Viking period began when Scandinavian warriors, driven from their homeland by social pressures, political strife, and quest for trade, raided coastal lands in the British Isles and Europe, even reaching North America. Aided by their swift, elegantly built ships, the Vikings (named after the Old English word for “pirate”) explored and colonized vast regions, trading from Greenland to Constantinople. Viking men and women wore jewelry as a visible badge of wealth and status. The decorative vocabulary of weapons, pins, brooches, pendants, and buckles made of precious metals and bronze was dominated by stylized animal patterns, sometimes reaching an abstraction of great complexity and sophistication. More simple pieces, such as neck rings and thick metal armbands, are notable for their size and extravagant use of gold or silver. The Museum’s ring is based on a torque-shaped armlet from the late 6th–early 7th century. The original is made of silver and was found in the Ukraine with a hoard comprising over one hundred silver objects thought to represent part of the treasure of an unknown local ruler. Produced in cooperation with The British Museum, London.