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The Ring Of Claddagh, what does it mean?

Updated on March 2, 2016

The Beautiful Claddagh Ring

Do you have a Claddagh Ring?

Anyone with a drop of Irish heritage looks good in one of these symbolic rings. Single, married, women, men, young or old, the ring will suit you and you don't even have to be Irish.

I want a claddagh ring!

This lovely Claddagh Ring is just $20 from Amazon.

What does the Ring of Claddagh mean?

Anyone can wear it

The ring of claddagh is made up of three distinctive features the hands, the heart and the crown and they mean the following,

The Hands - means friendship

The Heart - means love

The Crown - means loyalty

You don't have to wear it as a betrothal ring, or as a wedding ring. It's a ring of friendship.

I would wear a claddagh ring as a sign that I have a special place in my heart for Ireland.

image : Chridhe Gaidhlig Cuore Gaelico

How to wear the Claddagh Ring - There are four ways to wear it

There are four traditional ways to wear the Ring of Claddagh

  1. If you're free, wear your Claddagh ring on the right hand with the bottom of the heart pointing out.
  2. When you're serious, wear your Claddagh on the right hand with the bottom of the heart pointing up.
  3. When you're engaged, the ring goes on the third finger of the left hand, with the heart pointing out.
  4. After the wedding, the ring is on the wedding finger with the heart pointing up (to your heart.)

Where did the Claddagh Ring come from?

Two interesting stories about the design

There are two interesting versions of the origin of the design used in the Ring of Claddagh, and both of them are associated with the Joyce clan

Richard Joyce And The Ring Of Claddagh

A story about the origin of the Claddagh Ring

The most popular story surrounding the ring of claddagh is linked to a man named Richard Joyce.

Joyce, a native of Galway, was captured by Algerian Corsairs while on his way to the West Indies and subsequently sold as a slave to a wealthy Moorish Goldsmith.

Joyce became highly skilled in the craft and eventually his master took a great liking to him. When offered his freedom, Joyce happily returned to his native land as as a master gold smith himself.

He set himself up in the Claddagh, an ancient settlement near the city of Galway. From there he designed and made the first claddagh ring in Ireland.

Margaret Joyce And The Ring Of Claddagh

Another story about the origin of the Claddagh Ring

Back in the sixteenth century Margaret Joyce of Galway married a wealthy Spanish merchant trader, and moved to Spain for many years.

When her husband died, Margaret Joyce Inherited all his wealth and moved back to her native Ireland.

There she married the Mayor of Galway and used her inheritance to improve the city of Galway. She was responsible for the first bridge to be built between Sligo and Galway, and was known locally as 'Margaret of the Bridges'.

For her good deeds, an eagle dropped the first claddagh ring of Ireland into her lap.

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What do you think of these rings? Would you wear one?

The Guestbook of Claddagh - Want to leave a comment?

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    • mariacarbonara profile image


      5 years ago

      Most of my rish friends have one of these

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Interesting the meaning of Claddagh ring, although the legends on it's origins sound a little sketchy, a bird dropping the ring? Ha. Legends abound on so very many wonderfully romantic symbols of our ancestry.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      The Claddagh Ring is beautiful and I love the symbolism and tradition behind it. Yes, I would proudly wear one on my wedding finger with the heart pointing up (to your heart.

    • exotickitten731 profile image

      Renee Jaco Whitfield 

      6 years ago from Bogalusa, Louisiana , United States of America

      interesting lens, i would love to have one too = ]

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd like a claddagh ring too

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I have heard of these, everyone with an Irish connection wants one.

    • sheriangell profile image


      7 years ago

      I've seen these, but didn't know the symbolism of them. Very nice lens and I love the rings!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have one of these rings, very beautiful. Good information!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing :)


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