Antique Bronze Claddagh Ring with Gemstone Heart
This handmade antique bronze claddagh ring with a gemstone heart has a long story attached to it. There is a large Irish population where I live, so I had alot of requests to make Irish jewellery. One of my pieces is this claddagh ring which I made with a birthstone heart. In the middle is a 5x5mm heart that is held in place with the hands of the ring.
The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring given which represents love, loyalty, and friendship (the hands represent friendship; the heart represents love; and the crown represents loyalty). The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City. The ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century.
In Ireland, the United States, and other places, the Claddagh is handed down mother-to-eldest daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter. According to Irish author Colin Murphy, the way in which a Claddagh ring was worn with the intention of conveying the wearer's relationship status:
On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is single and may be looking for love. (This is most commonly the case when a young woman has first received the ring from a relative, unless she is already engaged. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is in a relationship. (This suggests that the wearer's heart has been "captured".) On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is engaged. On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is married.
Bronze is an alloy that consists of a mixture of approximately 90% copper and 10% tin. Producing bronze is a less toxic process than producing brass as brass is a combination of copper and zinc, and the manufacturing process often produces zinc oxide which is toxic. Because bronze contains copper, it can turn your skin green whether you have an allergy or not. Bronze and copper turn your skin green because when the copper reacts with your sweat and the acids from your skin, it produces copper chloride. Copper chloride is a green substance that then rubs off on your skin. If you are prone to sweating, your bronze jewelry will definitely turn your skin green. This chemical reaction can also be prevented by painting any part of the jewelry that comes in contact with your skin with clear nail polish or clear acrylic enamel.