The Claddagh ring, also known as the Chladaigh, is perhaps the most iconic type of Irish jewelry, boasting the Celtic symbolism and Irish heritage to provide the wearer with an immense sense of pride. Oh, and the Claddagh design is incredibly beautiful too.
Whether buying your first Claddagh ring, a wedding band, engagement ring, or a ring to symbolize friendship or loyalty, you can find a stunning range of Celtic jewelry below. Before choosing a Claddagh ring design from our reputable goldsmith services, though, here's all you need to know about wearing Claddagh jewelry.
The Claddagh Ring Meaning
When wearing Irish jewelry to symbolize heritage, it's important to know the meaning of the ring. The Claddagh design was first created by Richard Joyce, a 17th-century goldsmith from a fishing village of Galway in Ireland. The traditional Irish Claddagh ring depicts two hands clasping a heart, which wears a crown.
The three elements of the Claddagh ring symbolize different things. The meaning of the hand is linked to friendship, the crown depicts loyalty, and the heart is a symbol of love. Irish people from Galway and other parts of Ireland, as well as those with Celtic roots, pay great attention to the meaning of the Irish Claddagh ring symbol. The wearer can celebrate friendship and loyalty while also showing their relationship status simply by wearing the Celtic symbol in the correct fashion.
The Claddagh design is a part of the Fenian finger ring family known as "feed" rings. While the rings have been crafted in Galway since the 17th century, depicting the hands, hear, and crown, they did not gain their name until the 1830s. Still, they have been an Irish symbol of friendship, true love, and loyalty for centuries and continue to carry huge Celtic significance, which is why millions wear them to this day.
Learn more about Claddagh Ring Meaning.
The iconic Irish ring doesn't only gain its meaning from the Claddagh symbol. Depending on the way you wear It, the Galway jewelry can be worn as a wedding ring, engagement ring, promise ring, pre-engagement ring, or friendship ring. The wearer will, therefore, need to consider a number of contributing factors such as;
- The choice of the ring finger
- The choice between right hand and left hand
- Whether it should point inwards or upwards
- Whether a birthstone should be included
By wearing the Claddagh ring in the right fashion, people from Connacht, Ogham, Dublin, and any other place in Ireland will understand the symbol shown. If you've ever seen multiple people from Ireland wearing the Claddagh ring, you may have noticed that they wear it in slightly different ways. This is to reflect the purpose of the ring, which is largely influenced by the person's relationship status.
If you are married:
When wearing a Claddagh wedding ring, you should wear it on the left ring finger. The point (bottom) of the heart should face the hand while the crown should stretch towards the fingertip. This is to symbolize that your heart is taken while the choice of the ring finger is to show that you are married and that this is your wedding ring.
If you are engaged
When you wear a Claddagh engagement ring, you should wear it on the same finger like a wedding ring. The Irish Claddagh ring remains on the left ring finger, it should be turned upside down. So, the point of the heart should face the fingertips to show that you are still unmarried. But the choice of finger shows upcoming marriage.
If you are in a relationship
When you wear the Claddagh jewelry as a show of loyalty to your partner, you should wear it on the right hand. The point of the heart should face the hand to symbolize that your heart is taken. However, the fact you are wearing it on your right hand confirms that you are neither married or engaged.
If you are single
When wearing an Irish Claddagh ring as a single person, you should wear it on the right hand. The point of the heart should face the fingertips to show that your heart is not taken while using the right hand avoids confusion with being engaged. The ring can be a symbol of looking for love, or you may wear it for friendship.
As a single person from Ireland or a person with Irish heritage, you can wear the Claddagh ring on other fingers when it is a friendship ring.
The Claddagh Ring Family Tradition
People associated with the Gra or Ireland, in general, may also use the Claddagh ring as a Celtic symbol of family loyalty. It is a fairly common practice for mothers to present their daughters with the jewelry when they come of age, which is one instance in which the birthstone may be found.
The Claddagh ring may also be passed down to the eldest daughter or to a granddaughter to keep the jewelry in the family as an heirloom. In some cases, a family motto or crest may be engraved into the jewelry. When used as a family tradition, the ring should be worn on the right hand, although some keep it safe at home instead.
Claddagh Ring Designs
While Claddagh ring designs all focus on the concept of the hands holding the heart and crown, the exact designs can vary depending on the situation. A Claddagh engagement ring, for example, will often house a diamond within the heart. Meanwhile, Claddagh wedding band and engagement ring sets are worn together with the two designs linking as one.
Other Claddagh rings may include sapphires or other birthstones to symbolize your birth month while the size of the ring can vary too. Likewise, diamonds may be incorporated within the design on the hands or the crown while others are plain. The Celtic jewelry can be created from gold or silver, which is why either a silversmith or a goldsmith may be behind the design.
Whatever you're looking for in a Claddagh ring, you will find the perfect product below.