Have you ever wondered the proper way to wear a claddagh ring? I have a long time Irish friend that I met back when I was in high school. I had always admired the claddagh ring she wore. Once I learned the meaning behind the claddagh ring, she explained that there is a proper way to wear it.
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Most of the time, claddagh rings are worn as an engagement or wedding ring. The claddagh rings are also used as friendship rings. Mothers often give one to their daughters when they are coming of age. This is how my friend received hers. It was a gift from her mother that was passed down from her mother, which is a popular tradition in most Irish families. So, when it comes to true Irish tradition and significance and when you wear a claddagh ring, you are displaying a uniquely wonderful piece of Irish history.
Depending on one's social standing, the claddagh ring may be worn on either the left or right hand. Status meaning single, engaged, in a relationship, or married. The claddagh meaning is the same for both men and women.
Wearing a claddagh ring on the left hand: If you wear a claddagh ring on the left hand, it symbolizes that the wearer is married or engaged to be married. If you are married, you will wear it with the heart facing inward towards your wrist. If you are engaged, you will wear it with the heart facing outwards away from your wrist to symbolize that you are committed to the relationship. Once married, you would turn the ring to represent the bond of your marriage.
Wearing a claddagh ring on the right hand: If you wear a Claddagh ring on the right hand, it symbolizes that the wearer is single, dating or in a relationship. The relationship can be a friendship. It is worn on the ring finger of the right hand. If you are single, the heart should be facing outwards, away from your wrist. If you are dating or in a relationship, the heart should be facing inwards, towards your wrist. If you are single, it is to symbolize that your heart is open. If you are in a relationship, it symbolizes that your heart is taken.
The traditional meaning of a Claddagh ring is one of love, loyalty, and friendship. The crown on top stands for loyalty, the heart for friendship, and the hands as a symbol of love. The two hands represent friendship, a heart symbolizes love and the crown on top is for loyalty. People from all over the world look for unique styles of this ring to establish their relationship status.
Here is the meaning of the symbols on the ring:
A heart is held between two hands. Friendship is symbolized by the interlocking heart shapes of the hands.
A Heart is a representation of love.
A Crown is a representation of loyalty and fidelity.
There is some cool history behind the ring as well. Did you know that the Irish Claddagh ring also dates back to the 17th century? It is named after the the historic Irish settlement of Claddagh, not far from Galway. It is about Richard Joyce and Margaret. Richard was a fisher man from Claddagh. Spanish soldiers stole his boat and enslaved him for many years. He was made a slave for many years and then sold to a goldsmith. The goldsmith taught Richard the goldsmith trade and Richard, stole a piece of gold daily so that he could make a ring for his beloved Margaret. Finally, he was able to make the Claddagh ring for Margaret. After all, she was the love of his life and desperately hoped to return to her and the village of Claddagh. Richard eventually made it back to the village of Claddagh and presented Margaret with the Claddagh ring and the rest is history. Isn’t that cool? I just love the history and especially this story. I guess I am a true romantic at heart.
Even though the Claddagh ring is most popular in Ireland and among the Irish, the Claddagh ring is now one of the most recognizable pieces of jewelry and popular all over the world. Even celebrities and people of stature wear or has worn the Claddagh. Some of the more famous wearers of a Claddagh ring are for example, are Princess Grace of Monaco and Queen Victoria. It is no surprise that two of our most famous US presidents, JFK, and Ronald Reagan were gifted claddagh rings when they made a visit to Ireland to honor their Irish roots. Sarah Michelle Gellar also wore a claddagh ring and it was featured in the hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer when her character Buffy received it as a gift on her birthday from her boyfriend whom was a vampire, to show his everlasting love for her. My kids loved that show.
One of my personal favorite celebrities to wear a claddagh ring is Walt Disney. I mean, who doesn’t like Walt Disney World and the motion pictures? I really never knew he was Irish until I did some research. Walt wore a claddagh ring and was proud of his Irish heritage. The only other ring Walt Disney wore, was his wedding ring. Walt’s grandfather was from Irish decent and moved to the west somewhere around the 1800’s. Walt made some movies that took place in Ireland and would visit Ireland often for the movie premieres. Most famously the movie, The Little People. Starring the awesome and talented Sean Connery. Love it and love him!! If you have not seen this movie and enjoy older movies, check it out. It premiered in Dublin Ireland in 1959. Sean Connery is known to be Scottish, but research states he is actually of Irish heritage. Nevertheless, he was a great actor and was famous for his role in the James Bond movies. I have been known to crush on Sean Connery a time or two. Who hasn’t?
The Claddagh is also connected to the Celtic Knot. This is because they are both a part of the Irish Culture dating as far back as 1200 BC. St. Patrick’s Day, the Celtic knot, and the shamrock are all very recognizable symbols that represent Ireland’s deep roots and culture. The claddagh being the most popular of them all. The Celts have many different knots and symbols. The Celts culture began in Europe and quickly became very prominent in Ireland, and still is today. Did you know that a ring for the Celts and Irish is one of the most powerful symbols? Because the ring is circular in form, it is viewed to be one of the most powerful symbols and pieces of jewelry you can wear. In early times, and for thousands of years, kissing a ring on the hand of a King, Queen, or Holy figure has been noted as a sign of respect and obedience as well as a great honor. Much like the Claddagh Ring, the ring would be designed with jewels and or a coat of arms or seal. This is one reason the claddagh ring got its original design. People today, still kiss the ring on the Popes hand to show their respect for his Holiness and his authority. It is also a gesture to show your love and fidelity for the church.
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Now that you know the proper way to wear a Claddagh Ring and little history behind it, what are you waiting for? Shop our beautiful collection of Celtic Irish jewelry today. The gift of a Claddagh ring is a great honor and can be passed down for many generations to come. Keep the tradition or start a new one. Own your own little piece of Irish history today. I am not Irish, but I love the culture and history behind it, so I wear my claddagh ring proudly to show my appreciation and love for it.
I want to thank you for reading and like the Irish say: May you have a world full of wishes at your command.