The Claddagh ring is the traditional symbol of love in Celtic culture. It is often associated with fidelity, love, and romance. The three symbols that make up the claddagh are.
1. Hands for friendship
2. A heart for love
3. A crown for loyalty
The mystery and folklore surrounding the design are a large part of its appeal of the claddagh. What is known is that the clasped hand design dates back to Roman times and has always been seen as a symbol of trust and friendship.
Rings featuring this clasped hand design are classed as “fede” rings and have always been associated with marriage, love, and loyalty for thousands of years.
The Claddagh ring originated in the 17th Century and, according to common belief, was designed by a Galway goldsmith named William Joyce. But the folklore tells a different tale, and the romanticism of the tale befits such a symbolic ring.
The folklore tells the tale of a young man from Claddagh, a fishing village in Galway. The man is sold into slavery, and during his years in captivity, he dreams of Claddagh and his lost love.
Over the years, he wonders whether his love would be waiting for him if he ever made it home. As time passes, he makes a ring out of gold pilfered from his master. This was the first-ever Claddagh ring. When he finally made it back to Claddagh, his love was waiting for him, and the tradition of the Claddagh ring was born.
There is a protocol as to how and which finger to wear your ring.
4 Ways to Wear your Claddagh Ring
1-Right hand with the point of the heart facing towards the hand: The heart is turned in towards the wearer meaning their heart is taken and they are in a relationship.
2-Right hand with the point of the heart away from the hand: The heart is turned out away from the wearer meaning their heart is open to love and they are not in a relationship.
3-Left hand with the point of the heart pointing away from hand: the wearer is engaged or in a lifelong partnership.
4-Left hand with the point of the heart pointing to the hand: the wearer is married!
The Claddagh ring is as versatile as it is beautiful. The folklore, symbolism and tradition merge to make a beautiful piece of jewelry that can be enjoyed by anyone.