Claddagh Ring Meaning
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What is A Claddagh Ring?
The Claddagh is a traditional Irish ring given from one person to another as a token of love. A proper Claddagh features two hands holding a heart, topped with a crown. These elements symbolize the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands) and loyalty (the crown).
Claddagh rings are said to have originated in the 17th century in County Galway, Ireland. A silversmith named Richard Joyce was captured by Algerians and sold to a Moorish goldsmith. In need of an apprentice, the goldsmith taught Joyce his trade. When William III demanded that all British subjects be released, Joyce returned to his native Galway and opened his own jewelry shop, where the famous Claddagh ring was first created.
How to Wear It
Wearing a Claddagh ring has become a timeless and meaningful way to express one’s relationship status. There are four ways to wear the Claddagh:
1. On the right hand with the point of the heart facing away from the hand means that the wearer’s heart is open to love (they are not in a relationship).
2. On the right hand with the point of the heart facing in toward the wearer signifies that the wearer’s heart is taken (they are in a relationship).
3. On the left hand with the point of the heart facing away from the hand signifies that the wearer is engaged or in a lifelong partnership.
4. On the left hand with the point of the heart facing in toward the wearer means the wearer is married!
Claddagh Ring Styles and Options
There is more than one type of Claddagh ring. Some might prefer the Fenian Ring over the classic Claddagh, for example. You won't see a crown with this style - just two hands and a heart. This iteration of the Claddagh has a historic spin: it is meant to signify Ireland's wish to be liberated from England. When shopping for a Claddagh, there are plenty of options to consider. You might choose a stunning silver Claddagh, a glamorous gold Claddagh, or even a customized Claddagh with engraving or colorful gemstones that add personal meaning. Maybe you’ll forgo a ring altogether and opt for other beautiful Claddagh jewelry such as earrings, a bracelet or a necklace! One thing’s for sure: whatever Claddagh you choose will be cherished by you or your loved one for years to come.
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