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Meaning Of Claddagh

Updated on October 16, 2015

Meaning Of Claddagh Symbol And Ring

Of all the Celtic Symbols, the most famous is the Claddagh in the form of a ring. The Claddagh ring, sometimes spelled "Cladagh," can trace its roots to the ancient Roman Fede ring. Cast to show two hands clasped together, it originally given as a symbol of friendship, but by the medieval period it was also worn as a symbol of engagement and marriage.

Although both Richard Joyce and George Robinson have been credited as the inventor of the Claddagh ring, historians believe that Joyce created the first Claddagh rings sometime in the late 1670s, while Robinson rediscovered the design some thirty years after Joyce's retirement and helped popularize the style. The name, derived from a small fishing village outside Galway, was not in common use until the 1840s.

The History Of The Claddagh Ring And Symbol - Irish Folklore Surrounding The Claddagh

According to folklore, there are two possible origins for this ring: One lend states that the first Claddagh ring was dropped into Margaret Joyce's lap by an eagle in honor of her work building bridges around Galway. The second story traces the ring back to Richard Joyce, who learned gold smithing while a slave to a Moor in Algiers. Once Joyce was freed by the order of King William III, the Moor begged for him to stay, going so far as to offer Joyce a fortune and his own daughter in marriage. Despite this generous offer, Joyce chose to go back to his country and made the ring as a symbol of his journey.

The Claddagh Symbol Means Compassion And Loyalty - Friendship, Love And Loyalty

It should be no surprise that like these stories, the Claddagh ring emphasizes compassion and loyalty to one's country. The design adds to the Fede's hands of friendship a heart symbolizing love and a crown to symbolize loyalty. The pro-independence Fenians weren't too keen on a ring that had a royal crown, so they designed their own version in the mid-1800s that left off this feature.

Here are some pictures of Claddagh rings so you can see the many different styles there are. The Claddagh symbol is so popular today that there are earrings, bracelets, necklaces, bookmarks, belt buckles, hair clips, jewelry boxes that are all decorated with the Claddagh.

The Claddagh Ring Song

Claddagh Rings Are A Symbol Of Friendship And Of Marriage

Today, Claddagh rings are used both as a symbol of friendship and of marriage, and it's common for rings to be passed down through maternal lines. To differentiate between these two meanings, the ring can be worn several different ways:

A single woman wears the ring on her right hand. If she is in a relationship, the point of the heart is pointed toward her wrist. If she's looking for a partner, the point is turned toward her fingertip.

Once she is engaged, she'll place the ring on her left hand with the point of the heart toward her fingertip. After marriage, the ring is worn with the point toward her wrist.

The Meaning Of The Claddagh Ring Symbol

The Claddagh Ring ~ The crown, the heart, and the clasping hands, plus the way the ring is worn on the hand all mean something.

Irish And The Claddagh Symbol And Ring

While most Westerners always wear engagement and wedding rings on the left ring finger, the finger a Claddagh ring is worn on varies depending on local customs. Today, the original design is the most popular, but the Fenian design is still worn by people across the globe who want to emphasize their Irish heritage.

For whatever reason you decide to wear the Claddagh there is no shortage of designs, settings and pieces you can choose from. This very simple old Irish symbol has captured many more hearts than just that of the Irish. If you decide the Claddagh is for you, take your time and choose a piece of jewelry that you will cherish your whole life long, after all, the Claddagh is a symbol of loyalty.

Celtus Claddagh

Beautiful scenery and beautiful music.

Interesting Claddagh Designs

Look what you can find with the Claddagh symbol on it...everything from a baby's bracelet to a letter opener. If you are a fan of this Irish symbol of compassion and loyalty, you might find something you like.

The Claddagh Symbol On T-Shirts - Wear The Claddagh

If you like the Claddagh symbol here are some T-shirt designs you might enjoy.

Buffy And Angel ~ The Vampire Slayer's Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh Tattoo

More Irish Symbols

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The Claddagh Guest Book - Sign In And Like The Claddagh Symbol, Show Some Friendship

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