Claddagh Ring Meaning With Picture Examples

14k Rose Gold Genuine Opal Celtic Claddagh Ring. Scroll down to see other designs and models.
14k Rose Gold Genuine Opal Celtic Claddagh Ring. Scroll down to see other designs and models. | Source

The Claddagh ring meaning is associated to its distinctive design features; two hands enclosing a heart, surmounted by a crown. The two hands represent friendship, heart represents love and crown represents loyalty. The ring is more than 200 years old, but its origins are shrouded in mystery. There are many legends associated with this Irish love-token and they all start in Claddagh, an Irish fishing village just outside the old city walls of Galway.

Origins of the Claddagh Ring

No one is quite sure how it originated, but the ring is most closely associated with one of the best known ruling tribes of the 17th century Galway – the Joyce family. The story of the ring involves Margaret of the Bridges (the daughter of John Joyce and widow of don Domingo de Rona) and the slave of the goldsmith from Algiers. In the late 16th century, after the death of her husband, Margaret remarried and spent most of the money her first husband left her on building stone bridges "through Connaught from Galway to Sligoe" (according to Roderick O'Flaherty). One day an eagle dropped the Claddagh ring into her lap, as a reward for her generosity.

In another story, a prince fell in love with a common maid. He designed a ring with hands representing friendship, a heart representing love and a crown representing loyalty and proposed to the girl. Her father was satisfied with the explanation of the symbolism of the ring and gave them his blessing.

One of the stories says that it was Richard Joyce, an Irish goldsmith (and silversmith) and a member of the Joyce tribe of Galway, who designed the ring.

The design of the ring became very popular after the great Famine in the 1840s.

How to Wear the Claddagh Ring

If you buy or receive a Claddagh ring as a gift, be careful how you wear it; when worn with the heart facing inward, the ring indicates that the wearer is spoken for and when worn with the heart facing outward, it tells the world the wearer is available. In other words, if the heart points in (toward you), it means you are in a relationship; if the heart points out (away from you), that means you are available.

Claddagh Ring Meaning in the Past and Today

The Claddagh ring is categorized as a "fede ring" (a group of European finger rings used as engagement and/or wedding rings). The term comes from the Italian phrase mani in fede – meaning hands joined in faith (or loyalty). Although it’s a traditional Irish ring and a token of love, people all over the globe use it as gifts in different occasions – the ring can be a wedding ring, an engagement ring, a gift for Mother’s day, for birthday, etc. Even children can wear it, usually teenage girls.

Buying Claddagh Ring Online

When buying a ring online, the problem is you can't try it on. Of course, sizes are universal and if you know your size, or the ring size of the person you want to pleasantly surprise, purchasing the Claddagh ring online can be a positive experience. Unfortunately, you’ll find many of them are oversized, deformed or simply look like junk. To make sure you get the right ring, here are some highly recommended Claddgah rings people were very satisfied with:

Claddagh Ring In Sterling Silver

This ring is elegantly small, it looks very good on even the slightest woman's finger or even on a man’s finger (one girl bought one for her dad and he loved it). Everything is proportional - no oversized features, such as disturbingly large heart or deformed hands. The silver is cheerfully bright with a high polished shine and it doesn't tarnish easily. If you’re doing household chores, such as laundry and dishes, it seems to be able to withstand the chemicals. The ring is nickel-free, which is important for those having problems with nickel based jewelry.

Silver Sterling Claddagh Ring
Silver Sterling Claddagh Ring | Source
Irish Friendship & Love Celtic Claddagh Band Ring in Sterling Silver, Size 8, #2601
Irish Friendship & Love Celtic Claddagh Band Ring in Sterling Silver, Size 8, #2601

Made in Thailand (but much better quality than most made in Ireland). Fast delivery. Nickel-free.


People bought this ring for their wife, girlfriend, daughter, teenage daughter (remember that Buffy wore it, too), dad, friend.

Similar rings can be found with hearts made of birthstones, such as topaz,opal, green amber, blue sapphire imitations, zirconia and other wonderful crystals.

Stainless Steel Claddagh Ring

This ring is designed with the additional detail of the Celtic knot of the band (representing eternity). It is big, thick and sturdy. It’s an excellent choice for a man, even for women (but not for women with small hands). The price is low, but the ring doesn’t look "cheap." People compliment on the ring very often.

Stainless Steel Claddagh Ring
Stainless Steel Claddagh Ring | Source

People bought this ring for their grandmothers, dads, husbands, and "large women" bought it for themselves.

10K Yellow Gold Claddagh Ring
10K Yellow Gold Claddagh Ring | Source

10k Yellow Gold Claddagh Ring

This wonderful ring is normally purchased as a gift for an anniversary, as an engagement ring or for a special occasion, but it can be worn every day. It looks luxurious – the base is gold-plated and the gem type that makes it so special is a round, minimum white color diamond. It shifts your gaze downward onto the ring and draws a number of compliments.

PalmBeach Jewelry Diamond Accent 10k Yellow Gold Traditional Celtic Symbol Claddagh Ring
PalmBeach Jewelry Diamond Accent 10k Yellow Gold Traditional Celtic Symbol Claddagh Ring

Number of stones: 2. Minimum clarity of the diamond is I1-I2. Stone width is 1.00 millimeters. Not stamped. Sizes: 6-8.


People mostly bought this ring for their wives and fiancés.

10k Yellow Gold Claddagh Ring with Trinity Band

This beautiful ring looks both simple and luxurious. It is thin, but holds up very well. It also exists in white gold variant. There’s a big range of available sizes. Because it’s thin, it is suitable for both men and women. It would make a perfect engagement ring, but it can also be used as a gift in any other occasion. The Trinity Band gives the ring a special touch. If you own the Amazon Store Card, any purchase on Amazon totaling $149 can be paid via six-month financing. No interest if paid in full within six months (see details and restrictions on Amazon). The same ring design is also available as 14k gold.

10k Yellog Gold Claddagh Ring With Trinity Band
10k Yellog Gold Claddagh Ring With Trinity Band | Source

14k White Gold Created Alexandrite Celtic Knot Claddagh Ring

A special edition of a white gold Claddagh ring – instead of hands, the ring has Celtic knots on the sides representing eternity. In combination with the created alexandrite heart, the ring symbolizes eternal love. It comes in a very nice jewelry box with a free teddy bear, all in a nice gift bag ready to give to that very special person who will surely be very happy for receiving such a wonderful, luxurious gift. The minimum color of the stone is color-changing, the polish is very good. Six-month financing possible. 90 day full money back guarantee (check restrictions).

14k White Gold Created Alexandrite Celtic Knot Claddagh Ring
14k White Gold Created Alexandrite Celtic Knot Claddagh Ring | Source
14kt White Gold Lab Alexandrite 6mm Heart Claddagh Celtic Knot Ring - Size 7.5
14kt White Gold Lab Alexandrite 6mm Heart Claddagh Celtic Knot Ring - Size 7.5

Ring size: 4-9. Resizable. Metal stamp 14k. Minimum total gem weight 1 carat.


People buy this ring for special women in their lives.

14k Rose Gold Genuine Opal Celtic Claddagh Ring

The last, but not less important on this list is a beautiful rose gold Claddagh ring with a heart made of genuine opal. Minimum color of the gemstone is multiple-color, very good polish and the minimum total weight is 0.10 carats. Six-month financing possible with 90 day full money back guarantee (see restrictions). Currently, there are no reviews for this item on Amazon, but the ring caught my eye and found its place on my wish list.

14k Rose Gold Genuine Opal Celtic Claddagh Ring
14k Rose Gold Genuine Opal Celtic Claddagh Ring | Source

Which Ring Should I Buy?

That depends on your budget, of course. You can find these rings at a price lower than $20, cca. $50 would be a fair price for a sterling silver ring, gold rings usually have different heart stones and designs, which is why the prices vary significantly.

It doesn’t matter which of these rings you’ll purchase for that person so dear to you – remember; it’s the symbolism not the price that makes this gift so special: love, friendship, loyalty. The Claddagh ring meaning will help you express what you feel and plan to nourish in the future and this will make any person very happy.

Just be careful which hand this person will wear it on (this includes you, too)!

More by this Author

Comments 12 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I've never heard of it, but thanks for the education. It's good to see you writing again.

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 3 years ago Author

Hi billybuc :) I've saved the notifications about your published posts concerning writing and motivation (you'll see me there soon :)) These rings are very interesting because of the meaning they convey and they are very popular among men and women, even children (at least teenage girls).

itakins profile image

itakins 3 years ago from Irl

The saying goes 'With this ring I give you my heart,and crown it with all my love'.Interesting history of the famous ring.

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 3 years ago Author

@itakins: Yes, I forgot to include the line in the text! Thanks for reminding us of the saying and for commenting :) I love the design of the Claddagh ring and its symbolism.

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi vox vocis,

Well, what a great hub you have written about a ring I have always had. As you rightly said it is steeped in Irish history and something many of us treasure. My mum wore one, I have had different ones through the years and how you wear it is so important. My sister-in-law runs her mums jewelry shop in Dublin on the most famous shopping street and sells many Claddaghs to American visitors. They have now branched out online too, such is the popularity of these special rings. Thanks so much for writing this, vu, useful, interesting, shared and pinned!

Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

I have loved the Claddagh for years. My wife purchased a Celtic Women CD that had a Claddagh clip-on in it. She is a wonderful woman, and probably more than I deserve. Very nice article about this item.

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 3 years ago Author

@Hi Suzie! Thanks for stopping by :) It's a great thing that you have close relatives in Dublin - my husband is a big fan of Ireland and we are planning to visit Dublin in the near future. Can you tell me the name of the shop your sister-in-law runs there and where it is located? When we visit Dublin, I'll buy one for myself in that shop :)) I'm satisfied with the Claddagh rings on Amazon and plan to purchase one as soon as I decide which one (there are so many wonderful designs), but another one from Ireland, Dublin would make a wonderful "souvenir" :)

@Mr Archer, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Claddagh ring with us and for the compliment. It's very nice that you appreciate your wife so much and don't take love for granted :)

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi vox vocis,

One of my brother's also works in the shop (not the one married to the boss!) It is on the top of Grafton st, a few wks ago my bro served Whoopie Goldberg and had his pic taken with her. Another fan of the Celtic jewels. R&C McCormacks is the shop and online name. The videos they have online feature most of my family posing as customers or selling! Dad, brother, nieces . . . If you are over It would be cool to meet up with you there!

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 3 years ago Author

How stupid of me, I just realized that you are in Dublin and not just your family :) How silly of me! Yes, absolutely! I'll contact you before we visit Dublin, and hopefully, we'll meet in person. Cool! Thanks for the info, I'm writing it down in my notebook!

P.S. It's also cool that your brother had a chance to meet Whoopie in person :) I'm a fan of the Celtic people and have been writing a novel based on their mythology and lifestyle. The plot starts in Ireland :)

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

This is a very interesting and informative hub. I have always wanted to know the symbolism and history behind this ring. The photos are beautiful as are the rings themselves. There are quite a variety of these rings, I see. I hope you get the one on your wish list, it is lovely.

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 3 years ago Author

Hi, Suzette! Thanks for the compliments on my hub. Yes, lovely rings - I decided to get one for myself in Ireland - hope to visit Dublin some time soon :) The claddagh ring would make a great souvenir!

CladdaghRing profile image

CladdaghRing 3 years ago from Athlone Ireland

Great blog!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article