Claddagh rings are traditional Irish rings that represent love, loyalty, and friendship. Their designs, as well as the customs associated with them originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh in Galway.
Claddagh rings belong to “fede rings” which is a group of European finger rings. The term “fede” came from the Italian phrase “mani pede” which can either mean, “hands joined in faith” or “hands joined in loyalty”. These rings can be traced back to the Roman times where they were used as engagement and wedding rings during the medieval and Renaissance period in Europe.
Claddagh Rings Usage and Symbolism
A Claddagh ring has a distinctive design which features two hands clasping a heart and usually surmounted by a crown. The heart symbolizes love, the hands symbolize friendship, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. This ring is also popular to Irish Americans as cultural symbols, as well as friendship, engagement, and wedding rings.
There are also some mottos and wishes associated with Claddagh rings and one of those is, “Let love and friendship reign.” This ring is sometimes handed down mother-to-eldest daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter and that is commonly practiced in Ireland, the United States, and Canada.
Based on Colin Murphy who is an Irish author, a Claddagh ring is worn with the purpose of conveying the wearer’s relationship status. Here are some examples:
- When it is worn on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, it means that the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
- When it is worn on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, it means that the wearer is in a relationship.
- When it is worn on the left finger with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, it means that the wearer is engaged.
- When it is worn on the left finger with the point of the heart toward the wrist, it means that the wearer is married.
Aside from these, there are also some localized variations and oral traditions when it comes to wearing Claddagh rings. However, the origin of the ring is not clearly known, but there are many different stories that are trying to explain how the ring was invented. All of these stories where all lessons about love, loyalty, and genuine friendship.
In the present time, Claddagh ring is no longer a traditional ring, but it has been made more classic and you can find it in different designs and styles such as diamond, gold, sapphire, emerald, and even vintage. If you’re someone who loves tradition with a bit of modern twists, then you may be able to find a Claddagh ring that will suite your taste.
Claddagh rings are multipurpose rings which you can use in different occasions. You can use it to propose to your girlfriend, or it can also be used as a wedding ring. And if you still want to follow its tradition, you can wear it if you’re single and you want to declare that you’re ready for a relationship. It might still work as long as others understand the message you’re trying to pass across.
Claddagh rings are indeed wonderful and it is a very meaningful kind of ring as well. If you want to have one, or you want to give it to someone special, here are some of the best Claddagh rings we found that you may like.
1. Silver Light Jewelry Claddagh Ring
This Claddagh ring is made of sterling silver. It is a size 7 ring that is 0.68 inch in diameter and 2.15 inch in circumference. This ring is nickel-free, lead-free, cadmium-free and is 100% hypoallergenic. It can be a great gift for your wife, girlfriend, mother, and as well as friends.2. Doublebeez Jewelry Silver Claddagh Ring
This Claddagh ring is a solid .925 sterling silver. Its sizes range from 5 to 13. It is a lightweight ring that is very comfortable to wear. If you’re looking for a great gift to your closest friends or family, this is a great choice.3. Blue Apple Co. Claddagh Wedding Ring
If you want a Claddagh ring for your wedding, then this is a good choice. This ring is rose-toned that is made from solid .925 sterling silver. It is also rhodium plated to avoid tarnish. This ring will come in a gift box when you purchase it. Plus, you can also have it engraved. Aside from being a wedding ring, it can also be a simple friendship ring or a special ring you can give to your special someone.4. Gudukt Silver Claddagh Ring
This Claddagh ring is silver plated and designed with royal blue crystals. It is made with high quality materials, making it a perfect gift for your loved ones. It also comes with a gift box and a 60-day money back or product exchange guarantee.5. Metal Masters Co. Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring
The heart of this Claddagh ring is designed with a 1.5 carat opal gemstone. It is a perfect ring for engagements, weddings, and as well as a gift for your daughter. It is a stylish-looking but very elegant Claddagh ring. It is rhodium plated to avoid tarnish, and it also comes with a free ring box.
The meaning behind Claddagh rings allow them to be worn in celebrating many occasions such as weddings and engagements. But aside from the Irish traditions that these rings hold, they also have beautiful and timeless designs, making them wonderful fashion accessories in the present time.