Originally designed in the 16th Century by a master goldsmith, Richard Joyce, as a wedding ring for his wife.
The ring takes its name from the area of Claddagh in Galway City, which was once a tiny fishing village.
Love, Loyalty & Friendship
The meaning of the Claddagh is perfectly encapsulated in the phrase “Love, Loyalty & Friendship”. The unique design is a combination of three symbols:
- The Heart represents Love
- The Crown represents Loyalty
- The Hands represent Friendship
The versatility of the Claddagh has allowed this design to achieve worldwide fame as a token of love and friendship. The ring is often offered in celebration of romantic love, such as a promise ring, engagement or wedding ring or band.
Equally, the ring can be worn as an emblem of an enduring friendship. Many more wear the Claddagh as a memento of a trip to Ireland, or as a beautiful reminder of their Irish heritage.
The Claddagh symbol consists of three different elements intertwined to form one of the most heart-warming and beautiful of symbols in Irish culture. Combining a heart balancing a crown on its top and held aloft by the pair of outreached hands, the Claddagh symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship.
When worn as a ring it has also become a means by which a person can display whether they’re single or taken, although in recent years this tradition fallen by the wayside as those unaware of its meaning wear the ring simply because of its beauty as a pattern.
How to Wear a Claddagh Ring
Over the centuries a number of myths and legends have built up around the Claddagh ring. One of the most enduring stories surrounds how to wear the Claddagh ring to signify whether or not your heart is taken.
- To show that your heart is taken, wear your Claddagh ring with the heart pointing towards your body
- If you are free, single or looking for love, wear your ring with the heart pointing outward