Norwegian Man Uncovers Ancient Jewels with Metal Detector

MajorsSep 19, 2023

Norwegian Man Uncovers Ancient Jewels with Metal Detector

The jewels, including gold rings and pendants, are said to be from 500 A.D.

Erlend Bore discovers ancient jewelry
Erlend Bore of Sola, Norway poses with the ancient jewelry he uncovered while treasure hunting with his metal detector on the island of Rennesøy. (Image courtesy of the Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger)
Stavanger, Norway—A Norwegian man in search of a new hobby uncovered ancient gold jewelry while taking his metal detector out for a spin.

Erlend Bore of Sola, Norway was treasure hunting on the island of Rennesøy when he uncovered what he described as a pile of gold coins, according to a press release from the Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger, translated from Norwegian.

“At first, I thought I had found chocolate money or [fictional pirate] Captain Sabertooth coins. It was completely unreal,” said Bore.

He found nine coin-shaped gold pendants inscribed with horse symbols, as well as ten gold pearl-shaped beads and three gold rings.

A dish of ancient jewelry found in Norway
Bore uncovered what he thought was a pile of fake gold coins. They turned out to be gold pendants from around 500 A.D.

The gold pendants date to around 500 A.D., according to Associate Professor Håkon Reiersen at the Archaeological Museum, and are called "bracteates,” which were used for decoration.

“The nine bracteates and gold pearls have formed a very showy necklace. The jewelry was made by skilled jewelers and was worn by society's most powerful,” said Reiersen.

“It is very rare to find so many bracteates together. In Norway, no similar discovery has been made since the 19th century, and it is also a very unusual discovery in a Scandinavian context.”

Reconstruction of ancient gold pendant necklace from Norway
Archaeologist Theo Eli Gil Bell reconstructed what the necklace may have looked like.

Similar bracteates in Scandinavia are thought to have been hidden in the ground towards the middle of the 5th century, right at the end of the “Migration Period.”

This period is thought to have been a time of crisis due to poor climate and plague, supported by many abandoned farms in the area dating back to the time.

“Based on the location where the find was made and experiences from similar finds, it is probably a question of either hidden valuables or sacrifices to the gods in such a dramatic time,” said Reiersen.

 Related stories will be right here … 
Sigmund Oehrl of the Archaeological Museum is an expert on bracteates and their symbols.

There have only been around 1,000 golden bracteates found so far in Scandinavia, but this one is especially rare, he said, because they have a horse motif not seen before.

Typically, the pendants will show the god Odin healing his son Balder’s sick horse, said Oehrl. The story represented renewal and resurrection and was said to protect the wearer and bestow good health.

These pendants, however, show only the horse, which is rare. His tongue is hanging out and he’s slumped over with twisted legs, appearing to be injured.

An ancient pendant inscribed with a horse from Norway
A closer look at one of the pendants. While these pendants usually picture the god Odin healing his son Balder’s sick horse, it is rare to see pendants showing only the horse, said Sigmund Oehrl of the Archaeological Museum.

“The horse symbol represented illness and distress, but at the same time hope for healing and new life,” said Oehrl. 

Marianne Enoksen, section manager for cultural heritage in Rogaland County Municipality, called the find “a completely unique discovery.”

“None of the archaeologists in Rogaland County Municipality have experienced anything like this, and it is difficult to describe the excitement when we got to see these,” she said.

Enoksen praised Bore, who discovered the jewels, for following the proper procedure by marking the spot and contacting the county council, who in turn reached out to the museum to carry out an investigation.

In Norway, all objects from before 1537 and coins older than 1650 are considered state property and must be turned over.

The Latest

Graphic for My Next Question episode on lab-grown diamonds
Recorded WebinarsSep 29, 2023
The Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Where Are We Now?

Watch as Edahn Golan, Sherry Smith and Avi Levy join Michelle Graff to talk pricing and trends in this controversial corner of the market.

692-carat rough diamond from the Karowe Mine
SourcingSep 29, 2023
Lucara Severs Ties With HB Antwerp

The two companies initially partnered during the pandemic and had just signed a 10-year sales agreement in November 2022.

Sonya K. Taylor diamond tennis necklace with tourmaline drop
CollectionsSep 29, 2023
Piece of the Week: Sonya K’s Versatile Necklace

A classic diamond tennis necklace gets a whole lot cooler with a removable pendant.

Brought to you by
Top 5 Ways to Promote Safety and Security Awareness Among Your Staff

Awareness is essential to proactive protection. Learn how to promote and maintain safety and security awareness in your business.

Columbia Gem House Woz Cuts
EditorsSep 28, 2023
The Gemstone World Is In Its Unique Cut Era

Associate Editor Lauren McLemore recently spoke with Columbia Gem House’s Eric Braunwart about the uptick in non-traditional gemstone cuts.

Weekly QuizSep 29, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Gold Roman Bracelet from the British Museum
CrimeSep 28, 2023
Have You Seen Jewels Like These? The British Museum Wants to Know

The museum is asking for the public’s help in finding thousands of pieces of ancient gold jewelry and gemstones stolen from a storeroom.

Chaumet diamond necklace, circa 1900
AuctionsSep 27, 2023
Antique Jewels Shine at Bonhams London

A rare Chaumet necklace and 20th-century sapphire ring sold for double their estimates.

Dialog Solutions
Brought to you by
A Conversation with Dialog Solutions

Do you always want the right diamonds at the right price in your store? Introducing Dialog, the world’s first diamond subscription service.

Stock image of rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingSep 27, 2023
India Calls for 2-Month Moratorium on Rough Diamond Imports

The plea comes against a backdrop of declining demand and falling prices.

Hands pushing a shopping cart
SurveysSep 27, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in September Amid Rising Recession Fears

Shoppers also expressed concern about rising prices, higher interest rates, and political uncertainty.

   Platinum Guild International logo
Events & AwardsSep 27, 2023
PGI to Dole Out $500K in Business Grant Program

Participants from the first round of grants saw up to a 900 percent increase in their platinum sales.

Citizen Tsuki-yomi A-T moon phase watch
WatchesSep 26, 2023
Citizen Launches the Tsuki-Yomi A-T Timepiece

According to the watchmaker, it features the first light-powered atomic timekeeping moon phase movement.

Sally Nelson Exclusively Diamonds
IndependentsSep 26, 2023
Sally Nelson, Founder of Exclusively Diamonds, Dies at 86

The former teacher, described as “a pioneer for women-owned businesses,” opened her own jewelry store in 1980.

Crescendo, a 147.96-carat golden citrine by John Dyer for Somewhere In The Rainbow
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2023
2023 Spectrum Awards Entry Deadline Extended

The contest is now open for submissions until Oct. 10.

Instore show logo
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2023
Instore Announces Dates for 2024 Show

The annual event will return to Rosemont, Illinois next August.

Gold holiday gift boxes
SurveysSep 26, 2023
Mastercard Makes Its 2023 Holiday Prediction

According to SpendingPulse, retail sales will increase in November and December but not necessarily for jewelers.

Stock image of hands in handcuffs
CrimeSep 25, 2023
Oregon Jeweler Accused of Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds as Natural

Police say Douglas Wayne Gamble also swapped natural diamonds for synthetic stones and failed to return customers’ repairs.

Neil Lane lab-grown diamond engagement rings for Kay Jewelers
CollectionsSep 25, 2023
Neil Lane’s Latest Collection Uses Lab-Grown Diamonds

The designer just launched a new bridal range at Kay Jewelers.

Yunjo Lee
MajorsSep 25, 2023
Hearts On Fire Taps Mejuri Exec as CCO

Yunjo Lee has also worked on collections for Tiffany & Co. with Paloma Picasso and Frank Gehry.

Steve Levine of Sylvie Jewelry
MajorsSep 25, 2023
Second Generation Takes On New Roles at Sylvie Jewelry

Steve Levine joins the family-owned company, while his brother Gary has a new position.

David Yurman Paris flagship
MajorsSep 22, 2023
David Yurman Alleges These Two Companies Copied Its Designs

The company has filed complaints against Royal Chain and Samuel B.

Yun Yun Sun toi et moi diamond Puzzle ring
TrendsSep 22, 2023
Piece of the Week: Yun Yun Sun’s ‘Puzzle’ Ring

The two-stone style benefits from two-toned metal.

Mineral display at HardRock Summit 2023
Events & AwardsSep 22, 2023
HardRock Summit To Relocate In 2024

The event is moving just outside of Denver.

Timex ReWound video screenshot
WatchesSep 21, 2023
Timex Wants Your Old Watch

The company just rolled out “Timex Rewound,” a new takeback and resale program.

GIA logo
GradingSep 21, 2023
Retailers Warned About Fraudulent Email Purportedly From GIA

The lab confirmed it did not send the message.

Reginald Brack
AuctionsSep 21, 2023
Hindman Appoints New SVP, Director of Jewelry and Watches

Reginald Brack has worked at StockX and Christie’s.

Natural Diamond Council brand ambassador Lily James
SourcingSep 21, 2023
Natural Diamond Council’s Latest Campaign With Lily James Is Here

The second installment of “To Treasure Now and Forever” is intended to emphasize diamonds’ versatility.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy

Additionally, paste this code immediately after the opening  tag: