Richard Joyce, an Irish goldsmith, may not have been the first to create the Claddagh design, but his iteration quickly became the most prominent. His woeful tale of true love, loss, and a passionate reunion is the most commonly heard origins of the Claddagh ring. Despite any other possible theories, the ring's story contains three undisputed facts. First, the design has ties to the fishing village of Claddagh; second, for many years the ring style stayed in Ireland until the 19th century when it was first sold outside of Ireland; third, the hands, heart, and crown are symbolic. Learn more about the meaning of the Claddagh ring, how to wear it, and the different styles that are available.
Claddagh Ring Meaning
The Claddagh ring design features a pair of hands holding a heart that is topped with a crown. The hands represent friendship, the heart symbolizes love, and the crown illustrates loyalty.
How to Wear a Claddagh Ring
Depending on which finger and direction you wear your Claddagh ring, you can communicate your relationship status without saying a word.
- Wearing a Claddagh ring on your right-hand ring finger with the point of the heart facing your wrist means you are in a promised relationship.
- Wearing your Claddagh ring on your right-hand ring finger with the point of the heart facing your fingertip means you are single and ready to mingle.
- As an engagement ring, wear your Claddagh ring on your left hand with the heart pointed towards your fingertip.
- A Claddagh ring makes a beautiful Celtic wedding ring, so wear it on your ring finger with the heart pointing toward your wrist to show everyone you are married.
Styles of the Claddagh Ring
Traditional-style Claddagh rings come in gold and silver. Although the basic design stays the same, some elements may change. Modern jewelers have begun creating Claddagh rings with birthstones and other gemstones, as well as Claddagh rings that feature Celtic knot bands. These small and simple enhancements enable you to find a piece of Irish jewelry that matches your personal style.
When it comes to jewelry, Jennie appreciates styles and pieces that have stories and histories. Celtic and Irish jewelry are especially interesting to her because of her Irish ancestry and her love of things that are shiny. Jennie also enjoys reading, writing, crocheting, gardening, and DIY-ing.