Swords were the most desirable and prestigious weapon during the Viking Age. The harsh truth was that not every Viking warrior could afford one because it cost a lot. This is the reason why this respected weapon was associated with the rich and wealthy Vikings only.
Vikings swords were extremely valued weapons because not only were they a symbol of status, fame and wealth, they were also something that can be handed down from generations to come.
The usual Viking age swords were double-edged and usually between 70 to 80 cm long. They were typically constructed of steel and other materials of very high quality weighing around two pounds. In fact, these weapons were even given as gifts to affluent and high status Vikings back in the day to stay on good terms.
In order for Vikings swords to gain the center of balance to the grip, their blades (about 24-36 inches in length) were designed in tapering form. Sword shapes and sizes also varied depending on their hilts that were attached to their respective blades.
One of the most amazing qualities about Vikings swords was that they were pretty light enough to handle, but also flexible weapons capable of killing ferocious enemies during deadly and bloody battles. Unfortunately, they were not easy to create. It took a skilled blacksmith and superior quality materials (hence why only the rich could afford) to create something extremely powerful, beautiful and battle-ready.
Since swords were used a lot, it wasn’t surprising at all that archaeologists discovered swords in unflattering conditions. These swords were either broken into pieces, dented or just plain dull. Despite the bad fates of some well-constructed swords, there were traces that some Vikings took their time out to maintain and repair their pricey possessions through sword sharpening. Meanwhile, others resorted to having their swords professionally sharpened by sword sharpeners because they obviously had enough money to do so.
Another interesting information about swords was that these weapons were routinely buried alongside their owners along with their other possessions, including slaves if they had one.
Swords were definitely the mark of a warrior during the Viking age. They were rare possessions that only well off Vikings could get their hands on. Even if Viking commoners could afford them, they needed to have enough money amounting to half a mark of gold, or they had to be willing to give up a substantial amount of resources that’s equivalent to about sixteen milk cows at that time.