The Claddagh Ring
The Irish Claddagh, pronounced ‘klah-da’ and called fáinne Chladaigh in Irish. The traditional Irish Claddagh ring is a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. The hands represent friendship, the heart symbolizes love and the crown, loyalty.
Origins of the Claddagh Ring
How the Claddagh ring came to be is a mystical and beautiful love story. Legend has it, just weeks before he was due to marry his beloved fiance, fisherman Richard Joyce while at sea was captured by Algerian Pirates. He was sold into slavery to a Moorish Goldsmith who trained him in the craft. Over the years Richard became a accomplished Goldsmith.
During his time in captive he never forgot his love he left behind, with this in mind he created the first Claddagh ring. After spending fourteen years of slavery, William III demanded all British prisoners be released, which at that time included Richard Joyce. Recognising Joyce’s skill and craftsmanship his former master offed his only daughter’s hand in marriage to entice him to stay. He declined and returned to Galway with the Claddagh ring he created in captivity. There he found his beloved had waited for him through the years. They wed and Richard presented his sweetheart with the ring and spoke these words “with this ring I give you my heart and crown it with my love” .
The Claddagh ring remains popular today and is given as a token of love and friendship. Claddagh rings gained popularity in America after Irish immigrants brought them over in the 18th century. Many of the rings are now passed down through Irish-American families as heirlooms.
How to wear your Claddagh ring
How you wear your Claddagh ring can determine your relationship status.
On the right hand with the point of the heart facing toward your fingertips; the wearer could be single.
On the right hand with the point of the heart facing toward your wrist; the wearer could be in a relationship.
On the left hand with the point of the heart facing toward the fingertips; the wearer could be enaged .
On the left hand with the point of the heart facing toward the wrist; the wearer is married.
A general rule of thumb (no pun intended) no matter which hand you wear your Claddagh ring on. If the point of the heart is facing away from body (towards the fingertips) it indicates you are single. If worn with the point of the heart facing the body (towards the wrist)it indicates you are in a relationship.
You can view the range of unique styles of Claddagh designs available at www.arnua.com . You can find rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets cuff links and tie-pins in the Claddagh collection and Claddagh Wedding rings in the Wedding ring section.