Claddagh Rings

History of the Claddagh Ring: 8 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know

What do St. Patrick’s Day, the shamrock, and the Celtic knot have in common? They all represent symbols of Ireland’s rich culture.

What do St. Patrick’s Day, the shamrock, and the Celtic knot have in common? They all represent symbols of Ireland’s rich culture.

The Celts began to build their own civilization many centuries ago. They represented a collection of tribes from central Europe that shared religious beliefs, a common language, cultures, and traditions. The Celtic culture began to evolve as early as 1200 B.C. and spread throughout western Europe, with many of their legacies becoming most prominent in Ireland and Great Britain.

One such legacy is the history of the Claddagh ring. It is a symbolic Irish wedding ring that consists of two hands holding a crowned heart.

It is often worn as a symbol of heritage, but it’s more popularly used to define a relationship status, more commonly an engagement or marriage. It is the ultimate symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship that holds a fascinating history. 

Read on to learn some interesting facts about the Claddagh ring’s origins and symbolism.

The Symbolism of Rings

The importance of rings started with the ancient Egyptians. They viewed its circular form as a powerful symbol.

The band represented eternal life and love as it had no end. The opening of the ring represented a path to unknown worlds. Egyptians exchanged rings as signs of loyalty, while the Greeks exchanged them as symbols of endless love.

However, almost 5,000 years ago, the Romans were the first to use the ring as a symbol of matrimony. The fede ring was the most common wedding ring. It depicted two hands clasped together, symbolizing a couple’s agreement to honor and love one another.

These rings were popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe. Changes in the original design led to the current iteration of the Claddagh Ring.

History of the Claddagh Ring

There are many versions of the story of the first Claddagh ring. One depicts an eagle dropping the ring into the lap of a charitable woman. It was a reward for her good deeds.

The most popular story is from the 17th century and involves Richard Joyce and the love of his life, Margaret. Richard was from Claddagha small village in Ireland, and a fisherman by trade.

Spanish soldiers captured his boat and sold it. They also sold the crew into slavery on the North African coast. Richard was the youngest of the crew and the most affected because he was afraid he would never see Margaret again.

Years passed, and throughout his enslavement, Richard continued to dream of his return to his village and Margaret. He was eventually sold to a goldsmith who began to teach him the trade. Each day, Richard stole a piece of gold and eventually made a ring.

He hoped that one day, he would be able to give it to Margaret. The story isn’t clear as to whether he escaped or was freed, but Richard eventually made it back to Claddagh. He found that Margaret had waited patiently for him.

He presented her with the ring he created, which is now known as the Claddagh ring. Legend has it that his ‘maker’s mark’ or initials were on the earliest known surviving Claddagh ring.

8 Claddagh Ring Facts

The Claddagh ring is a symbol steeped with Irish history. Here are some facts about its origin, meaning, use, and how it has changed over the years.

1. The First Claddagh Ring

The design’s earliest appearance was in 1700 in an Irish fishing village called Claddagh. Claddagh is now a part of the city of Galway. This is where the many versions of Claddagh ring history started. 

2. The Claddagh Ring’s Category

The Claddagh ring is part of a broader category of rings called fede or faith. Mani in Fede is an Italian phrase that means ‘hands joined in fidelity.’ It symbolized a promise of friendship and love.

3. Most Popular Use of the Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring is a popular version of a design used for an Irish wedding ring, vows, and pledges. It dates back to the ancient Romans.

4. Claddagh Ring Meaning

Each element found on the Claddagh ring has significant meaning when used as a wedding ring:

  • The two hands represent friendship
  • The heart represents love
  • The crown represents loyalty

It is why it is considered the ultimate symbol of love and unity.

5. Claddagh Ring Tradition

Poor fishing families kept the Claddagh ring as a symbol of an investment. Mothers passed it on to their daughters or daughters-in-law. The tradition became even more significant in the 19th century when millions of Irish fled to America and Australia seeking a better life.

6. Claddagh Ring Rules

There are simple rules regarding the wearing of the Claddagh ring:

Single and looking for love? – Wear it on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertip. The heart turned away from the wearer shows that their heart is open to love.

In a relationship? – Wear on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist. The heart turned inward means the wearer’s heart is taken.

Engaged? – Wear it on the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertip.

Married? – Wear it on the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist.

7. Famous Claddagh Ring Wearers

Princess Grace of Monaco and Queen Victoria are two well-known figures who have worn Claddagh rings. 

The ring was also featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy received it as a present for her 17th birthday, from Angel, her vampire boyfriend. It was a symbol of their everlasting love.

8. A Presidential Gift

Two US presidents received Claddagh rings as gifts when they visited Ireland. John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie received theirs in 1963. The rings were to honor his Irish roots.

Ronald Reagan received his ring in 1984 from the people of Galway.

A Piece of Irish History

Being gifted with a Claddagh ring is a great honor. The traditional design found in any article or story about the history of the Claddagh ring is still popular. However, more modern versions include other Celtic and Irish symbols, such as knots interlacing around the ring band.

The Irish Jewelry Company is the largest online Celtic jewelry store and a leading Irish jeweler. View our beautiful collections to select the perfect piece of jewelry to symbolize Irish culture and tradition.

Irish Jewelry

Friendship, Love and Loyalty: The Claddagh Ring’s Romantic Symbolism

Everyone knows that Galway, Ireland is the birthplace of the Claddagh Ring. However not everyone knows that this romantic symbol of Irish love originated first with the Romans.  

Claddagh Rings are world renowned, and are worn by both men and women, single or taken. Irish Claddagh rings are named for the ancient fishing village of Claddagh, near Galway, Ireland, dating back to the 17th century. The Claddagh ring in Irish is fáinne Chladaigh and is a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty. The Irish Cladddagh ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century.

The design for the claddagh ring originated with the Roman Empire during the Renaissance period.  The Claddagh ring is really a fede ring and have a long history dating back to Roman times. The name “fede” derives from the Italian phrase mani in fede meaning loosely “hands joined in faith” or “hands joined in loyalty”. The clasped hands were viewed as promise ring used as an engagement ring or wedding ring in medieval and Renaissance Europe. The  Irish Claddagh ring is a version of the fede ring has roots deeply seeded in long standing Irish tradition.

Long ago it was traditional in Ireland for mothers and grandmothers to pass down claddagh rings to their daughters and granddaughters. Today Irish Claddagh Rings are traditional given by a loved one or partner as a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. These days claddagh rings are given and worn for a variety of reasons:

Claddagh Engagement Rings and Promise

You show your commitment to love your partner with a Claddagh Engagement Ring or promise ring. Traditionally a claddagh engagement ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward to symbolize engagement and pointed inward for marriage. Claddagh engagement rings have proclaiming love, loyalty and friendship for centuries. Truly any Irish Claddagh Ring can be worn as an Irish Promise Ring or Claddagh Engagement Ring.

Friendship and Sisterhood

Sisters and best friends can give each other a claddagh as a symbol of the great friendship, their loyalty y to each and the love that binds them in eternal friendship.

A Symbol of Irish Pride  

Claddagh are often worn by people of Irish heritage as a symbol of Irish pride and to show a genuine love of Ireland. You probably know Irish superstition says it is bad luck to purchase a Claddagh ring for yourself. Everyone knows Irish tradition says a Claddagh Ring must be given as a token of love or received as a gift. But to heck with Irish superstition.

Today’s choices in Claddagh rings and Claddagh Jewelry

Known the worldwide as a sign of love the claddagh symbol has inspired a variety of jewelry designs. The claddagh design can be found in Claddagh inspired bracelets, claddagh earrings, and claddagh necklaces.  So, whether you choice a claddagh necklace or claddagh ring for the special someone you are almost guaranteed they with treasure the symbolic token of love forever.

So, are you ready to shop for that Claddagh Ring? See Claddagh rings and Claddagh Jewelry at The Irish Jewelry Company  

Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions, St. Valentine's Day

The Romantic Irish Tradition of The Claddagh Ring

a claddagh ring

The Claddagh is a legendary jewelry item that epitomizes timeless values. The legacy design cues hands on either side of a heart and a crown on top. The classic Claddagh ring shows the wearer’s family situation. Thus, a heart looking out the fingertips means you’re single, whereas this element pointing towards the wrist means that the owner is taken.

Today, this ring has a huge number of design variations, but the main three elements have remained intact. This jewelry item is presented to girls and women as a symbol of companionship or as a Claddagh engagement ring.

The Story Behind The Claddagh Ring

The Irish Claddagh ring tells a heartwarming romantic story steeped in heritage and life-long affection. This story began a long time ago – three hundred and forty years ago, to be exact.

The protagonist of this most widespread legend is Richard Joyce. One day, he ventured off to what is now known as the North American islands. On his way back, he was going to walk his sweetheart down the aisle, but on the way to Claddagh, his ship was seized by Algerian pirates. 

In those days, pirates tore the blue waters, filling travelers with dread. Many noblemen died in the fight and thousands of merchants lost everything they had earned. Thus, Richard was enslaved and brought to a famous jeweler. He spent in slavery fourteen years. Joyce mastered the jewelry craft to perfection and became an excellent craftsman under his master’s guidance.

Richard kept on dreaming of meeting his bride. This inspired him to create a ring that portrayed two hands holding the heart under the crown.

Later, the goldsmith was set free. However, a Moorish jeweler liked the capable lad and even offered him to tie the knot with his daughter. But Joyce refused since a bride was waiting for him in his homeland. 

When Richard arrived to the motherland, he gave the ring to his faithful girlfriend, who had been waiting for him all these years. They married and settled down in the village. Richard went on to pursue his favorite and lucrative business – he opened his own jewelry workshop. Since then, these rings have sprouted into the local culture.

Although there are different legends circulating about the origin of this item, the romantic history seems the most plausible. The fact remains that the oldest surviving rings bear his trader’s mark, and that a jeweler named Richard Joyce actually existed. It is also interesting that this goldsmith’s mark features an anchor, which is a symbol of hope.

Today, this ring has rightfully taken its place among the cherished Irish wedding traditions and customs alongside with locking of the church door, the make-up beds, and others.

The Bottom Line

Today, the Claddagh is the eternal embodiment of affection and wholeness. The charm of this item is that it can be used as both a promise heirloom and a marriage symbol. So whether you are into the traditions or prefer a more modern stance, this lovely heritage can be worn and adored by everyone.

Irish Traditions

The Celtic Cross: Mysterious Sun Symbol from Ireland

About sixty mysterious crosses with a circle superimposed on them, created before the middle of the XII century, can still be seen over the vast territory of Ireland. Also, such crosses dot thousands of cemeteries not only on the island, but also in England, Wales, Scotland, Europe and other most unpredictable places. The most famous and recognizable symbol of Ireland, the Celtic cross, still disturbs the minds with its mystery and multiple interpretations.

History and Origins

Why Celtic and why is Ireland constantly mentioned along with it? It’s simple: the oldest pieces in the largest quantities were found there. Historians have long believed that the Irish are the descendants of the ancient tribes of the Celts who came to the island from the center of Europe. And now when we say Celts we mean Irish. Of course, the cross was discovered not only in Ireland, but also in England and Scotland. But the primacy in quantity remained with Ireland. Hence the name.

Often called the cross of St. Columbus, it originally served as a guide to sacred places such as cemeteries, churches and monasteries. This symbol began to be depicted in Ireland around the 7th century and for many centuries, with the help of monks, it was actively installed throughout the country.

There is an opinion that such crosses were used as tombstones, but it is wrong. Only from the middle of the 19th century, the Irish who moved to a foreign land began to depict Celtic crosses on tombstones, showing everyone their origin. That is why we can see this symbol in the most remote corners of the world.

Meaning and Symbolism

The Celtic cross is a cross with equal rays, enclosed in a circle. The rays can slightly protrude outside the circle. Sometimes a Celtic ornament is located along the cross and in a circle. Although this form of the cross is inherent in many ancient peoples, including the Slavs, the cross in a circle is firmly established in the minds of people as Celtic.

The Christian interpretation of the cross is simple: the circle means eternity and union, and the cross itself means the love and sacrifice. It is difficult to say how the ancient Celts themselves interpreted this symbol: there is no information about this. But historians suggest that the cross as understood by the ancient Celts could symbolize fertility, abundance, and protection. It is also called the solar symbol because its facets suggest the unity of earth, air, sun and water.

Nowadays, the Celtic cross is worn by both Christians and pagans: it is not tied to a particular religion, and different denominations perceive it as a symbol of their spiritual views.

Modern Distribution

Today the Celtic cross can be found not only in cemeteries and architecture, but generally everywhere in Ireland. Souvenirs, advertising, clothing, key-rings have become an excellent foundation for displaying the famous Irish symbol. And the number of jewelry with a Celtic cross is generally a separate topic for discussion. Celtic cross necklaces, pendants, bracelets, brooches and charms made of sterling silver, gold and even wood are sold in a huge assortment for every taste. 

Celtic Cross Necklace by The Irish Jewelry Company

Many pieces of jewelry are made with different stones, allowing the manufacturer to customize the selection for specific people who prefer individual minerals. Sometimes the cross decoration is complemented by other Celtic designs such as triquetra, triscele and Celtic knot-work, which make them more intricate and interesting. Celtic crosses can also be single or double-sided. Modest and minimalistic, rich and luxurious – everyone can choose what they like best.

Irish Traditions

Valentine’s Day Meaning & History

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The first thing that comes to mind is a heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates that should be directly applied to one’s hips. And then there is that sweet little cupid. He’s an overweight angel aiming a bow and arrow at you to inspire you to fall blissfully in love. I mean, let’s face it. Cupid’s arrow is a weapon that literally and metaphorically could be the death of you. But all jokes aside, do you even know why we actually celebrate Valentine’s Day? I didn’t think so.

What is the meaning of Valentine Day?

The Legend of Saint Valentine
In ancient Rome, the date February 14th was a holiday to honor the Roman Goddess of women and marriage. The next day was celebrated as the pagan Roman Feast of Lupercalia. During this time in Roman history, young adults were strictly segregated by sex. No surprise, it was 269 AD. Eventually they needed to give their hormones a chance to flourish. So it was customary on the eve of the feast of Lupercalia for young men and woman to be partnered for the feast by the men picking the girls’ names from a jar. Sometimes the pairing lasted for a year and with the young couples falling romantically in love and eventually marring. It was all very sexist in a provocative way.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last for long. This euphoric ritual of hormonal teenage partnering would come to an abrupt end during the tyrannical rule of Emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the cruel. Emperor Claudius had Rome fighting in many bloody and unpopular battles and was having grave difficulty recruiting soldiers to sustain his military forces. In his warped mind, Claudius believed the reason he couldn’t get soldiers was due to women. He convinced himself that the men’s love of his family, wife, or girlfriend prevented them from leaving there side and joining the military. It had nothing to do with the little matter that they didn’t want to die a savage death for an Emperor they despised.

Fun-loving Emperor Claudius proceeded to cancel all pending and future marriages and engagements in Rome. Claudius then made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.

Why is Valentine’s Day on February 14th?

Legend has it, no doubt a wee bit embellished if not entirely fictional, that Valentine was stricken with the unbearable belief that many young souls would be destined to be sinners. So Valentine, a roman priest, married young lovers against Claudius’s decree in secrecy. He was of course apprehended and condemned to death for his deeds. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, in either 269 AD or 270 AD. Nobody really knows what yearly exactly, but they know the date was February 14th, now known as Valentine’s Day.

So where is St. Valentine now?


Ireland, duh! What you may not know for some unknown reason is that St. Valentine’s remains are rumored to be buried in Dublin, Ireland. How do you like that wee bit of useless knowledge?

The Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin City claims to hold the remains of St. Valentine. The Carmelites are a small community in the monastery attached to Whitefriar Street Church. Saint Valentine’s remain were given to the Carmelites in 1835 by Pope Gregory XVI.

Oh, the Irish are wonderful folk. They just about have their hands in everything good and pleasurable. Not only did they give us spooktacular holidays like Halloween and fantastic Christmas traditions like the wreath on our on the front doors, but they also house the remains of St. Valentine! The romantic patron saint of lovers whose feast day has become so commercialized it actually makes Christmas seem, well, less commercial by comparison. In any event, Board Failte wouldn’t be doing their job if it didn’t see the Euro signs in the fact that Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is the last resting place of the beloved Saint of Love. It virtually makes Ireland a must-do pilgrimage for lovers. I mean, after all, the Irish did give us the best Valentine’s Day gift of all the claddagh ring, too. The claddagh is the one and only symbol of eternal friendship, love, and loyalty. The story of the claddagh and the claddagh ring is a story for another day or blog. Anyway, its romantic, symbolic meaning makes it a no brainer Valentine’s Day gift for someone to give any lucky partner. Cowinkydink?

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Celtic Holidays, Irish Traditions

Imbolc – Saint Brigid’s Day February 1st

Imbolc or Imbolg, also called Brigid’s Day, and Saint Brigid’s Day is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. Saint Brigid’s Day is also called: Lá Fhéile Bríde (Irish), Là Fhèill Brìghde (Scottish Gaelic)

St. Brigid Cross in Two Tone

Saint Brigid’s Day – February 1st

This feast day is held on 1 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Saint Brigid of Ireland, whose feast day is February 1st, led a fascinating life. Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland is one of Ireland’s patron saints, along with Patrick and Columbia. Irish hagiography makes her an early Irish Christian nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries of nuns, including that of Kildare in Ireland, which was famous and was revered.

Saint Brigid’s Prayer ….

Saint Brigid, You were a woman of peace. You brought harmony where there was conflict. You brought light to the darkness. You brought hope to the downcast. May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world. Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made. Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary. Strengthen what is weak within us. Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens. May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.


What is a St Bridget’s Cross?

This beautiful cross known as a St. Brigid’s Cross is a wonderful tribute to Ireland’s beloved saint. Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland is one of Ireland’s patron saints, along with Saint Patrick. Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares a name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated.

How to make a Saint Brigid’s Cross

Making a Saint Bridget’s Cross is a custom in Ireland. The St Bridget’s Cross is made out of plants called rushes (Juncus effusus) for hanging above the entrances to dwellings to invoke the help of St Bridget in warding off disease. St Bridget’s Day is celebrated on the 1st February each year and the crosses are made at that time. Rushes were traditionally used to make the St Bridget’s Cross. These were collected from wetlands and cut into pieces, 8-12 inches long. Rushes can be hard to get for city dwellers so ordinary paper environmentally friendly drinking straws and rubber are a good substitute to make with children. 

You can watch an IPCC video showing you how to make a cross. Please follow this link.

If You Can’t Get Rushes You Will Need

  • 9 paper environmentally friendly drinking straws
  • 4 small rubber bands

What to Do

  1. Hold one of the straws vertically. Fold a second straw in half as in the diagram.
  2. Place the first vertical straw in the center of the folded second straw.
  3. Hold the center overlap tightly between thumb and forefinger.
  4. Turn the two straws held together 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the open ends of the second straw are projecting vertically upwards.
  5. Fold a third straw in half and over both parts of the second straw to lie horizontally from left to right against the first straw. Hold tight.
  6. Holding the center tightly, turn the three straws 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the open ends of the third straw are pointing upwards.
  7. Fold a new straw in half over and across all the staws pointing upwards.
  8. Repeat the process of rotating all the straws 90 degrees counter clockwise, adding a new folded straw each time until all nine straws have been used up to make the cross.
  9. Secure the arms of the cross with elastic bands. Trim the ends to make them all the same length. The St Bridget’s Cross is now ready to hang.
How to Make A St Bridget's Cross

Text, Photographs and Images © Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare. Email:; Tel: +353-45-860133.

Celtic Holidays, Ireland, Irish Christmas, Irish Traditions

The Day Of The Wren Known as St Stephen’s Day

Straw Boys

One of Ireland’s unique and darker traditions, celebrated on December 26th, relates to killing a small bird in revenge for betraying St Stephen.
“Hunting the Wren” is an Irish tradition that is believed to pre-date Christian times. It sounds pretty cruel, where basically the tiny bird is captured, killed and tied to a pole. Local musicians and dancers would then dress in garish disguises and go house to house collecting money, food and drink for a party. Woe betide the house that did not donate to the cause – the wren could be buried outside their door which would bring 12 months of bad luck!

St Stephen

King of the Birds or Traitor of Saints??
The wren is considered the ‘King of the Birds’ and is also associated with the old year. It was said that capturing the bird alive would herald in a new and prosperous year. As the king of the birds the wren occupied a prominent position in the druidic pagan religion. Sailors and fishermen believed that those who possessed a wren feather would never be shipwrecked.

Legend has it that the wren was a small feathered traitor, but legend cannot agree if this dubious reputation was earned by betraying a saint’s hiding place, ruining a secret attack by Irish warriors or by being a fairy seductress – all intriguing in their own right.
One version of the story tells that St Stephen was hiding in a bush from his enemies, only for his hiding to be revealed by the chattering of a wren. Another maintains that in the 700s during the Viking troubles, when Irish warriors crept up on the Danes to attack, a little wren beat out a warning by picking crumbs from the drum held by a sleeping Viking. And lastly, there was a fairy woman called Cliona was in the habit of luring local men to a watery grave. She had the power to turn herself into, you’ve guessed it, a wren.

the wren

An Irish St. Stephen’s Day Tradition
The feast of St. Stephen, who was the first Christian martyr, is celebrated on December 26th. Connecting the Wren Boys ritual (Lá an Dreoilín) as the day when the traitor wren betrayed St. Stephen is a good example of how Ireland’s pagan traditions were merged with Christianity (it also happened with St Brigid)

The Wren, the Wren the king of all birds,
St. Stephens’s day, he was caught in the furze.
Although he is little, his honour is great,
Rise up, kind sir, and give us a trate.

We followed this Wren ten miles or more
Through hedges and ditches and heaps of snow,
We up with our wattles and gave him a fall
And brought him here to show you all.

For we are the boys that came your way
To bury the Wren on Saint Stephens’s Day,
So up with the kettle and down with the pan!
Give us some help for to bury the Wren!

Modern Revival
Nowadays, a more humane Wren Boys is still practiced in mainly rural areas, they don’t kill the wren anymore, thank goodness. The tradition consists of “hunting” a fake wren, and putting it on top of a decorated pole. Crowds of mummers or straw boys celebrate the wren by dressing up in masks, straw suits and colorful motley clothing and, accompanied by céilí music bands, parade through the towns and villages. A celebration is still held around the decorated pole and the money that is collected from the townspeople is now donated to a school or charity.

Cautionary word of warning to all wrens – a wren’s feather is still thought to bring good luck, so maybe lie low around Christmas time…

Shop Irish at The Irish Jewelry Company and learn more about Irish traditions.

Claddagh Rings

Six Popular Irish Claddagh Ring Styles

The Irish Claddagh Ring is perhaps the most famous piece of Irish Jewelry there is today.  Its popularity is has become world renowned.   

A short history of the Claddagh ring.

boats covered by frost and ice on Corrib river in Claddagh, Galway

Long ago a young man was captured and sold into slavery from the fishing village of Claddagh. Many years passed and he wondered if his true love would wait for him. Over the years he stole tiny bits of gold from his master to make her a ring. He fashioned a heart for love, a crown for loyalty and hands as a symbol of friendship. After many years he finally returned home to Claddagh. Upon his return and to his joy he discovered his true love had waited for him. He gave her the ring as a symbol of their love, loyalty and friendship forever known now as the Claddagh ring.

And just like that with a few hundred years of embellishment and a wee bit of the telephone game at play the romantic story of the Claddagh Ring was born. Now there are several variations of the claddagh ring  legend but we think this version of the myth is most recognizable worldwide. There are even more variations on the Claddagh ring design. Some early designs from over 200 years ago depict the claddagh with a narrow or slender heart. Other older design depicts the hands as more pronounced and firmly grabbing the heart.

Today there are many interpretations of the beloved Claddagh Ring design that began in the 1600’s. Reputable online Irish jewelers like The Irish Jewelry Company, world famous for their unique Irish jewelry and Claddagh Rings offer a huge selection to choose from.

Traditional Irish Claddagh Ring

The Irish Claddagh Ring is a traditional Irish ring exchanged as a token of love. Irish Claddagh rings are a beautiful symbol of love and affection for another. This unique ring originated in the ancient Irish village of The Claddagh in Galway, Ireland. Now known as the home of claddagh jewelry.

So what do claddagh rings mean?

Irish or not, if you want to give a token of your friendship, love and loyalty that has meaning, the Claddagh rings may be the choice for you. Claddagh rings are often mistakenly spelt Clatter Ring or Clodagh Ring, like it sounds (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring. The Claddagh ring means eternal love, loyalty, and friendship. Claddagh rings consists of a heart with a crown held by two hands symbolizing love, loyalty, and friendship. Claddagh Rings have become a world-renowned symbol of love.

Brief History of the Fenian Claddagh Ring

This version of the Claddagh Ring with two hands holding a heart and no crown was made in Dublin in the 1800’s. It became known as the Fenian Claddagh Ring or the Dublin Claddagh Ring. The Fenian Claddagh Ring belongs to a style of European finger rings called fede rings used as engagement rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe. The name fede comes from the Italian phrase “mani fede” meaning hands joined in faith.

Mothers Claddagh Ring Meaning

Mothers Claddagh Ring

The mothers claddagh ring is an unassuming stylized mother and child embrace. It is representative of the Madonna and child combined with a traditional Irish Claddagh is a testament to the enduring bond between a mother, her child, faith, and their Irish heritage.

Birthstone Claddagh Ring

Birthstone Claddagh Ring are brilliant. Be inspired. Choose a birthstone claddagh ring to mark a special occasion like a graduation, birthday, anniversary or to express your personal philosophy.

Birthstones are gemstones that accompany a specific birth month. Each month has its own unique birthstone and each birthstone has a unique birthstone meaning and historical significance. Birthstone Claddagh Rings are given as a birthday gift. Birthstones are precious or semi-precious gemstones, even created gems that are associated with each month. Birthstones are considered lucky for their months and for those who believe in such things their healing powers are heightened during these times.

Trinity Claddagh Ring

Our Trinity Claddagh Ring is beautiful and graceful. The Trinity Claddagh Ring is a modern new twist on the combination of the traditional claddagh ring and trinity knot that takes Irish jewelry to a new level of great design. The Irish claddagh ring is the symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty. The trinity knot is the modern Irish love knot. Combining the two Irish symbols into the beautiful Trinity Claddagh Ring is simply brilliant.

The Claddagh Infinity Ring

Claddagh Infinity Ring captures the essence of the infinity sign and Claddaghs. The Irish claddagh ring is a symbol of eternal friendship, love, and loyalty. An infinity symbol represents all that is eternal and timeless. Combining the two symbols into a claddagh infinity ring is brilliant. The inside of the ring has the phase “Anam Cara” inscribed. Anam cara meaning “friend of my soul”, soul mate. Anam cara is the Celtic spiritual belief of souls connecting and bonding. When you give an Infinity Claddagh Ring you pledge your infinite Irish love and loyalty.

The romantic Irish Claddagh ring design can be expressed and reinterpreted in so many different ways. Which one of our Claddagh rings is just right for you?

Shop The Irish Jewelry Company for the best selection of Traditional Claddagh Rings and Unique Claddagh Rings.

Celtic Jewelry, Celtic Knot Meanings, Claddagh Rings, Irish Jewelry


Traditional Irish wedding traditions date far back in time and many have survived for decades in one form or another today. These Irish wedding traditions include classic Men’s Celtic wedding ring designs. The designs to the Celtic Wedding Rings are rooted in nature came from folklore and superstitions for generations. passed on generations. Today Irish couples around the world seek to incorporate these ancient Irish wedding traditions and Celtic Wedding Ring design in their modern-day wedding as a way pay tribute or to reconnect with their Irish heritage.

Conventional Men’s Celtic wedding rings have intricate details, and the meaning of Celtic knots and designs are very sentimental. While many modern Celtic couples are likely familiar with the story of the Claddagh Ring and its symbolic tradition Celtic knots have a unique variety of meanings. There are many Celtic knots, and each knot is distinctive and symbolic in its own way.

When you want to tie the knot and pay tribute to your heritage a Celtic wedding ring can evoke ancient traditions and meaning symbolic of your love for one another.

The Classic Celtic Knot Wedding Band

Celtic Knot Wedding Rings are a popular Celtic symbol but there are many types of Celtic Knots. Celtic knots are like circles and loops interwoven with no beginning or end. A symbol of eternity and the cycle of life. Celtic symbols are widely popular in Celtic Wedding Rings and in Celtic Knot Jewelry. Celtic Knotwork Wedding Rings have a variety of Celtic Knot meanings representing family, strength, protection, love and more.

TYING THE KNOT… the Celtic Knot

Ancient pagan traditional wedding element. Hand Fasting or Tying the Knot. Officiant’s hands are in slight motion

Perhaps the best-known Irish Wedding Tradition that most people don’t know about is tying the knot. Did you know the phrase “Tying the Knot” originated with the ancient Celtic ceremony of hand fasting? This old Celtic tradition symbolizes the joining of two as one like the exchanging of rings today. The couple clasps their hands together and a brightly colored cord in the bridal party colors is wrapped around their hands as a symbol of their unity in marriage.

The Celtic Eternity Knot Wedding Ring is A Symbol of Love

Celtic Eternity Knot Wedding Band Gold Plated

The Celtic eternity knot wedding ring an ancient symbol of an interwoven spiritual path, endless love, and friendship. The eternity knot is a symmetrical knot that ties into itself without a visible beginning or end. The saying, “tying the knot” means to get married or engaged originates from the ancient Celtic custom of hand-fasting. In this Celtic custom of a couple having their hands bound together with an endless knot (or an eternity knot) in a symbolic ritual that binds them together as one forever.

Mens Celtic Trinity Knot Wedding Ring

Trinity Knot Wedding Ring Design

Much like the shamrock the Triquetra knot also referred to as the Trinity knot was used by Christians to represent the Holy Trinity. Legend says St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain how the Holy Trinity works. Each petal on the clover represents an entity of God. The top petal is God. The other two petals represent Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Faithful Christians used the three points of the Trinity knot demonstrates the Holy Trinity Basically, there are three persons, each person is God, each person is distinct, and there is only one God. The Christians used the knot to symbolize the Holy Trinity and added a circle to represent eternal life.

While the Trinity Knot Wedding Ring meaning may be unique to everyone, the symbolic design is timeless and a true symbol of Celtic heritage.

What is a Traditional Celtic Cross Wedding Ring?

The Celtic cross is one of the most revered symbols of Ireland and of Irish culture. Few symbols are as renowned as the embodiment of Celtic Christianity like the Celtic cross worldwide. The Celtic Cross is basically a Latin cross with a circle of light, or a halo intersecting it. This cross also known as the Irish cross or the cross of Iona is a famous Christian symbol that has its roots in paganism.  The cross with a circle of light emerged in France and Britain in the middle ages and predates Christianity. It was adopted by Irish missionaries from the 9th through the 12th centuries.

Celtic Claddagh Wedding Ring 10k Yellow Gold

The Claddagh Wedding Ring

The claddagh ring is a type of fede ring from Roman times. A fede ring is one with two hands holding a heart to symbolize friendship and love. Richard Joyce added the crown to the design to symbolize his eternal loyalty to his true love.

The Claddagh’s romantic meaning is part of its Irish charm that has made it a piece of jewelry that has endured the test of time. The traditional Claddagh wedding ring is a symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty. The hands of the claddagh ring stand for friendship. The heart of the claddagh ring stands for love and the crown is a symbol of loyalty. The beautiful meaning of the claddagh ring has made the claddagh ring a celebrated romantic gift for people of all nationalities. But none can argue that the claddagh wedding ring holds a rather special meaning to those romantics of Irish heritage.

Each Celtic wedding ring design is unique and evokes a romantic heritage steeped in mysticism and promises of eternal love. Ancient Celts embraced the mystical forces of life and love and demonstrated it in their unending knots.  more than just knots. No matter what Celtic Wedding Ring inspires you when you select a Celtic wedding rings, the design and details should pay tribute to your heritage and commemorate your enduring love and faith in your partner.

Celtic Legends, Claddagh Rings, Ireland, Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions

The Romantic Story of the Claddagh Ring an Irish Symbol of Love, Loyalty and Friendship

Panorama of the Claddagh in Galway city, Ireland.

The Claddagh ring is a famous Irish ring with a love story that transcends time. The story of the Claddagh Ring is one of enduring love that began long, long ago in 1675 in the small fishing village of Claddagh in County Galway, Ireland. It all began when a young lad by the name Richard Joyce. The Joyce family is one of the famous Tribes of Galway. An Irish fisherman who was very much in love with an enchanting Irish lass he was hoping to one day betroth. Unfortunately he was captured at sea by pirates from Algeria. The wicked pirates sold Richard Joyce for a hefty sum into slavery. As luck would have it in an Irish sort of way Richard Joyce was sold to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him in his highly skilled craft to be an accomplished goldsmith. So impressed with his skill his captor made him his apprentice.

It is said it was during his time of servitude that he saved tiny scraps of metal and created the claddagh ring for his love whom he hoped had waited for him. Thus the claddagh ring was born.

The claddagh ring is a type of fede ring from Roman times. A fede ring is one with two hands holding a heart to symbolize friendship and love. Richard Joyce added the crown to the design to symbolize his eternal loyalty to his true love.

In 1689 the King of England, William the Third persuaded the Algerians to release all enslaved subjects. Soon Richard Joyce was able to return to Ireland and the tiny fishing village of Claddagh to be reunited with family and friends. To his joy he soon discovered after all his years of servitude his true love had waited for his to return.

And just like that with a few hundred years of embellishment and a wee bit of the telephone game at play the romantic story of the Claddagh Ring was born. Now there are several variation’s of the claddagh ring legend but we think this version of the myth is most recognizable world wide. There are even more variations on the Claddagh ring design. Some early designs from over 200 years ago depict the claddagh with a narrow or slender heart. Other older design depict the hands as more pronounced and firmly grabbing the heart.

Today there are many interpretations of the beloved Claddagh Ring design that began in the 1600’s. Reputable online Irish jewelers like The Irish Jewelry Company, world famous for their unique Irish jewelry and Claddagh Rings offer a huge selection to choose from. There are Celtic Knot Claddagh Rings, Trinity Claddagh RingsIrish Claddagh RingsMothers Claddagh Rings and so much more just to name a few.

The romantic Irish Claddagh ring design that can be expressed in so many different ways. Which one of our Claddagh rings is just right for you?