Claddagh Ring – Size 9
The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) 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 design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of the same name in Galway. The ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century.
The Claddagh ring belongs to a group of European finger rings called “fede rings”.The name “fede” derives from the Italian phrase mani in fede (“hands [joined] in faith” or “hands [joined] in loyalty”). These rings date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped hands was a symbol of pledging vows, and they were used as engagement/wedding rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Fede rings are distinctive in that the bezel is cut or cast to form two clasped hands that symbolize “plighted troth”. The Claddagh ring is a variation on the fede ring, while the hands, heart, and crown motif was used in England in the early 18th century.
Towards the end of the 20th century there was an explosion of interest in the Claddagh Ring, both as jewelry and as an icon of Irish heritage. In recent years it has been embellished with interlace designs and combined with other Celtic and Irish symbols, but this is a very recent phenomenon that corresponds with the worldwide expansion in popularity of the Claddagh ring as an emblem of Irish identity
The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart and usually surmounted by a crown. These elements symbolize the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). A “Fenian” Claddagh ring, without a crown, is a slightly different take on the design but has not achieved the level of popularity of the crowned version. Claddagh rings are relatively popular among the Irish and those of Irish heritage, such as Irish Americans, as cultural symbols and as friendship, engagement and wedding rings.
While Claddagh rings are sometimes used as friendship rings, they are most commonly used as engagement and wedding rings. Mothers sometimes give these rings to their daughters when they come of age. There are several mottos and wishes associated with the ring, such as: “Let love and friendship reign.” In Ireland, the United States, Canada, and other parts of the Irish diaspora, the Claddagh is sometimes handed down mother-to-eldest daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter.
|Heart Pointing Inward||Heart Pointing Outward|
|Right Hand||In a relationship||Single|
According to Irish author Colin Murphy, a Claddagh ring was worn with the intention of conveying the wearer’s relationship status:
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and might be looking for love.
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship; someone “has captured their heart”
- On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
- On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.
There are other localized variations and oral traditions, in both Ireland and the Irish diaspora, involving the hand and the finger on which the Claddagh is worn. Folklore about the ring is relatively recent, not ancient, with “very little native Irish writing about the ring”, hence, the difficulty today in finding any scholarly or non-commercial source that explains the traditional ways of wearing the ring.
-Excerpted from Wikipedia