Claddagh Ring Meaning
Where did the Claddagh Ring get its name?
The ring’s first recording dates back to the 1600s and it is believed that it originated in the beautiful village of Claddagh in Galway. Many people in this village and elsewhere in Galway wore this type of ring and still do.
There are several stories as to how the ring got its name. One such story is told of a native of Claddagh who had been captured by pirates. The man Richard Joyce was kidnapped by North African pirates and enslaved. According to tradition, he was forced to work as a goldsmith and during this time he made the first Claddagh ring. Eventually, he made his way home to find that his fiancée had waited for him for all those years. In another story, the first ring was dropped by an eagle onto the lap of a young woman who had just become engaged.
The History of the Claddagh Ring
Most likely the Irish Claddagh may also have been influenced by ancient rings dating back to the ancient Celts. These were faith rings which were exchanged as a pledge of love or friendship. The unique gold Claddagh ring is most likely a local version of a very ancient Celtic ring design. Claddagh jewelers have made many new exciting designs for the adornment down the years. The Claddagh necklace too has become popular in recent years.
Fishermen and sailors from the Galway village used the design of the ring as a symbol for their crest on their boats and ships.
In the 19th century, people from Ireland moved to America and elsewhere around the world and made the gold jewelry popular. Now, however, silver and rose gold Claddagh rings are growing in popularity.
Tradition and the Claddagh Ring
Traditionally Claddagh ring has three symbols, with Claddagh jewelers always making them so. If they do not have the heart, crown and clasped hands, they are not authentic or genuine. The tradition of the Claddagh is what makes it so special and so loved.
Claddagh Ring Meaning
What does a Claddagh ring mean? The Claddagh meaning is based around three symbols. There is a crown that represents loyalty, and a heart that symbolizes love and affection. Then there are hands that clasp the heart and the crown, representing friendship. The meaning can be very personal and express the things that are dearest to our heart. The jewelry can be used also to state your relationship status. It can be used to state if the wearer is single, married, engaged or even looking for love.
How to Wear a Claddagh Ring?
There is no one way to wear this beautiful and stylish ring as there are no set rules for how the ring should be worn. However, here is a guide that can help you to decide what way you want to wear the ring.
Claddagh Engagement Ring
If you are engaged you wear the ring on your left ring finger. The crown should be pointed to your wrist. This shows that you are committed to someone special in your life. Claddagh engagement rings are also very popular in commitment ceremonies.
Claddagh Wedding Ring
Many Irish people have a tradition of using a Claddagh ring as a wedding ring. It is worn on the left ring finger. A Claddagh Wedding is worn with the bottom of the heart symbol pointing to your heart, to show that you are married. Typically, women’s Claddagh wedding rings are in gold or rose-gold.
Claddagh Ring for those Not Married
There are a number of ways of wearing a Claddagh ring if you are not married. You can wear the ring on any finger on your right hand. If you are looking for a relationship then wear the ring with the heart pointing outward. This means that you are looking for love.
If you are dating someone the ring should still be worn on any finger on your right hand. The heart should be pointed to your own heart, indicating that you are in a relationship but not married or engaged.
Men’s Claddagh Ring
Men have been wearing Claddagh rings for centuries. They have used them as friendship, engagement and wedding rings. Men’s Claddagh rings are often worn as a symbol of an individual’s Irish ancestry.
Men’s and women Claddagh rings are the same in that they include the three key symbols. However, men’s Claddagh rings are usually simpler and typically do not have gemstones. It is ultimately up to the individual person which type of Claddagh ring they want to wear.
Do Men Wear Claddagh Ring? Yes, sailors and fishermen have worn the ring for centuries. Even rock stars like Jim Morrison of the Doors has worn them. Many Irish men are proud to wear their Claddagh rings.
Types of Claddagh Rings: There are many types of Claddagh rings. A gold Claddagh ring is by far the most popular, but there are Claddagh rings made in silver and rose-gold also. The heart in the ring can be made from a gemstone.
Is the Claddagh Ring Religious?
The ring does not have any religious significance. It has been claimed that the ring was originally meant to represent the three most important Celtic gods. However, the symbols of the ring - the heart, crown, and clasped hands - are often interpreted by Christians in a religious sense, representing the Holy Trinity.