The Vikings, pillagers and plunderers that they were, were the possessors of quite a bit of metal that needed to be used in some way. So they made jewelry. By the 8th century they had created a technique that is called trichinopoly or more commonly "Viking knitting", although it is really a type of weaving. It's possible that the jewelry was used as currency on those occasions when the Vikings actually paid for their acquisitions, like some sort of wearable bank account. Ostentatious types, those Vikings. It's not like anyone in our society would string twenties together and wear them around his or her neck. I suppose when you're known for your ferocity and lawlessness, you don't have to fear being mugged or looking nouveau riche.
If the Viking style of adornment appeals to you, you can learn this technique and make your own Viking-style jewelry. It's less complicated than it looks, and you don't even have to know how to knit in order to learn. You can learn to make the bracelet above through the accompanying tutorial here.
Here's a YouTube instructional video by JewelrySupply.com, and there are a number of other such videos on YouTube.
Once you master the basic technique, you'll be able to start improvising by adding beads and findings. The necklace and earrings above are from the artist behind Woven Wire Jewelry, who offers a tutorial in the Viking knitting technique for $10 here.
I found quite a lot of lovely pieces on the net, and just included a few of my favourites here. I don't know who made this necklace. If you made it, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to credit you and add a link back to your web site or online store.
I found this necklace quite stunning. If you do, but you have no interest in learning the Viking knitting technique, it can be ordered from A Myriad Vice on Deviant Art.