The Meaning of the Claddagh

The meaning of the Claddagh is very special to Ireland as it represents love, loyalty, and friendship. The precious image is a heart with a crown held in place by two hands. Even after 300 years, people still relate to the beautiful and simple design.

What is the Meaning of the Claddagh Ring?

The Meaning of the Claddagh

When most of us hear the word Claddagh, we think of the iconic ring. The word Claddagh, however, is a place in Ireland and the word translates as “the shore.” Claddagh’s location is in Galway, and there is still a wall from 1584 there. However, there is more behind Claddagh than just a ring. Claddagh is where a love story took place. Fisherman Richard Joyce showed his true love to a woman by presenting her with a gold band and the legend was born.

♡ The Claddagh Ring Design

There are many different ideas about how the ring looked in appearance. The story goes that fisherman Richard Joyce was sold into slavery by pirates. While he was a slave, all he could think about was this woman. To declare his love, he took a gold band and added three elements. He chose the heart for love, the crown for loyalty, and the hands for friendship. When he managed to get back to Claddagh, he married the woman who was just as in love as he was. She waited all those years for his return.

The Claddagh ring is not a new design. One example is the Fede ring, which has hands clasping a heart but no crown and is from ancient Roman times.

♡ How to Wear a Claddagh Ring

Claddagh rings have a lot of sentimental value and were commonly given to daughters by their mothers. The tradition would continue through generations. However, these rings are very versatile as friends would also give each other these rings.

Today these rings are still given to loved ones and often as a wedding ring due it’s beautiful meaning. It’s important to note that the way you wear the ring is significant. If one is single, the heart is facing out to show that they are available. The heart is faced inwards to show that you are in a relationship or just not looking. Wearing the Claddagh ring on the left hand with the heart towards you means you are married. However, the same placing on the left hand and the heart outwards means you are engaged.

The Irish believe in luck, and therefore these rings must be gifted. Because of their value, you should not buy one for yourself. You can often hear the Irish refer to “the luck of the Irish.” There are many variations of how it became such a well-known phrase. Some believe it’s due to their resilience even when they face hard times that luck brings on good times.

Others say the opposite, their misfortunes and being-uprooted several times. And they blame that on ‘the luck of the Irish.’

♡ The Claddagh Ring Styles

Claddagh rings are available in gold and silver. Their design is very close to the original. Jewelers have added birthstones and gemstones to give it a specific meaning. In recent years, more and more people have come to learn the history of the ring. You might come across the rings featuring the Celtic knot bands. Jewelers also make the hands or heart smaller to be delicate. A Celtic jewelry store will have a wide range of Claddagh rings to choose from, as well as many other beautiful pieces.

If you have any questions about the Claddagh ring, please let us know in the comments below. Also below you will find links to more interesting articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.

Images Courtesy of Canva.

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