Claddagh, the Irish ring of love

Posted by Stephenie Denault on

The Claddagh ring (Irishfáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship (the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty) Associated with true love, it has been seen in many forms and styles in cinema and tv(so many people call it the Buffy Ring at conventions!)

The Claddagh ring (Irishfáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship. Here's a little history on this beautiful design.

Towards the end of the 20th century there was an explosion of interest in the Claddagh Ring, both as jewelry and as an icon of Irish heritage. In recent years it has been embellished with interlace designs, most commonly knotwork, and combined with other Celtic and Irish symbols, but this is a very recently gained worldwide popularity of the Claddagh ring as an emblem of Irish identity.

Although there are various myths and legends around the origin of the Claddagh ring, it is almost certain that it originated in or close to the small fishing village of Claddagh in Galway, Ireland where they have produced Claddagh rings continuously since at least 1700.

While Claddagh rings are sometimes used as friendship rings, they are most commonly used as engagement and wedding rings. Mothers sometimes give these rings to their daughters when they come of age. There are several mottos and wishes associated with the ring, such as: "Let love and friendship reign." In Ireland, the United States, Canada, and other parts of the Irish diaspora, the Claddagh is sometimes handed down mother-to-eldest daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter.

According to Irish author Colin Murphy, a Claddagh ring was worn with the intention of conveying the wearer's relationship status:

  1. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and might be looking for love.
  2. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship; someone "has captured their heart"
  3. On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
  4. On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.

Do you want to find one for yourself or a loved one? You can find a selection of designs I make here.


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