The Ring from Reykholt

 

 

Gold ring

The ring found in the chancel of the medieval church at Reykholt is 18 carat. It is beaten into shape, widest and convex on the top with upturned edges and acanthus leaf decoration in the Romanesque style. Internal diameter is 19 mm, date c. 1500. It is possible that the ring was made in Iceland. The original is kept in the National Museum of Iceland.  

Not many rings have been found from this time in Iceland, most famous is the ring from " Rangárvellir".  

 The archaeologist Guðrún Sveinbjarnardóttir found this ring in Reykholt during the archaeological excavation on Snorri's farm site in 2005.  Suddenly she stood with the ring in her hand, one of the biggest moments of her career.  ( The picture is taken at that very moment, notice Guðrúns dirty fingers!)  The pattern and shape of the ring is known in Iceland from around year 1200,  so the ring could be older than the finding place, which was a under a church floor  from year 1500,  indeed a big loss for its owner!  We don't know who he was, we can only guess, but most certainly he was a man of importance.  The original ring was in 24 karat gold and size 62 ( almost certainly a male size).  

In the gift shop in Snorrastofa we sell copies of the ring in silver and silver with gilding, sizes available are from 50 to 62. Ring in 18k gold can be ordered in any size.   The ring is made by www.sign.is  and is only available in Snorrastofa and  " Þjóðminjasafn" giftshop. 

For more information visit Snorrastofa and West Iceland.

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