The Story & Meaning of the Irish Claddagh Ring

The Story Of The Claddagh Ring: For those who are not familiar, the Claddagh Ring has its origins in Ireland and now used widely by all nationalities as a symbol of love, loyalty, relationship and fidelity.

Ireland is renowned as one of the most lovely places on earth. And is also referred to as the Emerald Isle because of its rich plant life and green grass.

The Claddagh Ring had its beginnings in the town of the same name, a former fishing village in Galway, Ireland (Claddagh is now part of Galway).

Claddagh is from the Gaelic word, Cladach, which means stony beach.

You may have seen Claddagh Rings, but you may not know of its origins.

It is a distinctive piece of jewelery with two hands clasping a heart covered over by a crown. Many examples are here:

Since the 17th century the Claddagh Ring is a widely known icon for love as well as friendship. It’s “the icon” of love, loyalty, relationship and fidelity.

The ring is made up of three parts: two hands, a heart and a crown. The hands hold the heart that wears the crown. The heart is worn for love, the hands are for relationship and the crown for loyalty and eternal love.

Do you know how you wear the Claddagh Ring?

If worn on the right hand, it’s a sign of being in a relationship. Face the heart toward the fingertip, the user is unattached. If the heart is facing toward the wrist the user is taken.

If worn on the left hand the wearer has a true love and is either in a relationship or married.

There are quite a few stories of the origin of the ring, the one most known is the story of Richard Joyce, who, while on a ship that was attacked by pirates was taken into slavery.

He was then bought by a goldsmith who trained Richard in his craft.

When Richard finally returned to Claddagh, he gave the love of his life a wonderfully crafted Claddagh ring and asked her to wed him.

Maeve was so happy to see him & embraced him.

Richard explained what happened the past few years and Maeve’s eye’s glazed over while listening to the blarney!

Richard, you’re telling me that you were on a ship, attacked by pirates and made a slave!

Really now Richard you can tell me the truth, you and the boys went on a trip, got drunk and forgot about me!

No, my darling Maeve I never forgot about you. My one true passion all the time I was away from you was crafting this beautiful ring for you to wear as a wedding band.

Upon seeing the Claddagh ring, Maeve broke into tears, fell into his arms and married him.

This is the true and apocryphal story of the origins of the Claddagh ring.

This link, is simply a doorway where you can see many fine examples of the ring and all other Irish jewelry.

Claddagh rings make wonderful gifts for men and women.

See for yourself by going to

#claddaghringtoday #irishcladdaghring #claddaghring #claddagjewelry


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