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The Story Of The Claddagh: History, Symbolism, Lore

Do you know the history, symbolism and lore behind the Claddagh ring? Are you looking for a wedding band with a design that is unique and meaningful? Read on to learn about this legendary piece of jewelry!

The Claddagh ring design gets its name from the town of Claddagh, a fishing village in Galway. Dating back to the 17th century, the ring has been used as an expression of friendship, love, and marriage, and continues to be a beloved symbol throughout Ireland.

According to legend, a young Irishman by the name of Joyce was kidnapped by pirates and put to work for a Moorish goldsmith. There he learned the trade. Though his captor offered him his own daughter and abundant land and possessions, Joyce’s heart remained true to a woman he’d left behind. When William III finally negotiated the return of the prisoners, Joyce presented his design to the woman who had waited for him so many years.

Though the design is popular among people of Irish descent, the charm and symbolism of the ring appeal to a broad non-Irish audience. This is not only a beautiful design for a wedding ring, but also an appropriate gift among family and close friends.

Symbolism of the Claddagh

It is the symbolism of the Claddagh ring design that makes it so appropriate for a marriage union, and an expression of love that lasts forever. The traditional Claddagh design incorporates two clasped hands, a heart, and a crown. The hands are a symbol of friendship, the heart a symbol of lasting love, and the crown represents fidelity.

How To Wear The Claddagh

In addition to the symbolism of the Claddagh design, the position and wearing of the Claddagh also communicates some important information about its wearer.

When worn on the right hand, with the crown pointing away from the wearer, he or she is romantically uninvolved.

When worn on the right hand with the point of the crown pointing towards the wearer, the heart is attached.

When worn on the left hand with the point of the crown pointing towards the wearer, it communicates the message that the wearer is engaged or married.

The Celtic Claddagh Wedding Band Ring shown above combines the Claddagh design crafted of 14K white gold and a 14K rose gold band setting. This ring is an attractive and meaningful wedding band for a man, or for a woman who would prefer a solitary wedding band with no gemstone engagement ring. Elegant and rich in meaning and lore, the Claddagh ring is a tradition worth carrying on!

0.25 Carat Women’s Claddagh Diamond Wedding Band blends the traditional simplicity and elegance of the Claddagh with a sparkling string of diamonds encircling the band.  This ring, crafted of 14K white gold, holds ¼ carats of fine quality diamonds giving the ring superior brilliance and beauty. This design is also fully customizable to your style and budget. Available in 14K yellow gold, 18K white gold, 18K yellow gold, and platinum.

The Claddagh Cross Pendant. If you love the deep meaning behind the claddagh design, the significance is only richer when you contemplate love, friendship and loyalty that characterizes our relationship with Christ. The pendant blends the Claddagh with the primary symbol of Christian faith: the cross. Made of fine 14K yellow gold, the pendant measure just over ¾’’ and can be purchased with a matching box chain.


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