Sweden has one of Europe’s richest collections of prehistoric gold and silver. Nearly 3,000 gold objects are kept here. Many of them can be seen in this exhibition.
These precious things were often hidden in the ground, where they were found by servant girls and farmhands, smallholders, widows and rofters employed in agriculture and forestry. To many of them, the unexpected discovery meant an end to poverty. The state paid for the finds and they were sent to the History Museum.
See gold collars from the migration period, silver pendants from the Viking period, reliquaries decorated with gemstones from the Middle Ages and other amazing objects. Still today, goldsmiths are impressed by the skills of their predecessors.
In Sweden we have had legislation to protect antiquities since the seventeenth century. It covers finds made from gold, silver or copper alloys. If they are over 100 years old they are bought by the state. This accounts for the unusually large number of gold and silver objects which have been preserved in Sweden.
The Gold Room is under renovation. The exhibition is therefore closed from March 5 until June 14 2019.
People have always been fascinated by gold. It has been used to create valuable jewellery and objects. At the entrance to the Gold Room there is a rune carving dating from 1040. It shows what can happen if you are too greedy for gold. Our collections contain a total of 52 kilos of gold and over 200 kilos of silver – much of it is on display in the Gold Room.