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Irish Claddagh Ring - Meaning and History

Updated on October 22, 2015
Anamika S profile image

Anamika S Jain is a Social Media Consultant and Blogger. She is passionate about topics like Astrology, Numerology, Feng Shui and Gemstones.

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Claddaugh Multi colored stones RingGold Claddaugh RingSilver Claddaugh RingCladdaugh ring studded with DiamondsCladdaugh Ring with the May Birthstone Emerald
Claddaugh Multi colored stones Ring
Claddaugh Multi colored stones Ring
Gold Claddaugh Ring
Gold Claddaugh Ring
Silver Claddaugh Ring
Silver Claddaugh Ring
Claddaugh ring studded with Diamonds
Claddaugh ring studded with Diamonds
Claddaugh Ring with the May Birthstone Emerald
Claddaugh Ring with the May Birthstone Emerald

Irish Claddagh Engagement and Wedding Rings

Claddagh Ring is the traditional Irish Ring which is given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring. With a rich history dating back to over 300 years these rings are probably the most culturally rich pieces of jewelry ever recorded in history. Though over the years this ring has undergone through a lot of changes the basic meaning and significance of this ring has been retained. The first major variation made on this ring was changing it from two hearts to one. Another variation in design was removing the crown. However these designs retained the hands clasping the heart. Claddagh rings are also available with heart shaped Birthstones instead of the heart. Some names associated with the Irish Claddagh ring are 'clasped hands ring', 'clasped hands and heart ring', 'hands and heart ring’, ‘Irish heart ring' , 'Irish wedding ring’ and 'faith ring'. Because of a design variation that had two hearts in it the ring also got the name of the 'double heart ring'. Apart from being wedding or engagement rings these are also good gifts on Birthdays, Valentine's Day, Mothers Day etc and has several designs and variations suitable for both men and women.

Claddagh Rings Meaning and Symbolism

What makes the Irish Claddagh Ring popular and special? What makes them ideal as gifts for the loved? This ring got its name as it was first created in a small fishing village near Galway, Ireland. The word Claddagh comes from the Irish term 'An Cladach' which means a 'flat stony shore'. This Ring was first created by Richard Joyce, a slave from the Claddagh village as a gift for his lover. The distinctive design of this ring features two hands clasping a heart and usually surmounted by a crown. The different elements of this ring are often said to correspond to the qualities of love which is denoted by the heart, friendship and togetherness which is denoted by the hands and loyalty denoted by the crown. This Ring today therefore has become a universal symbol of lasting love, eternal friendship and loyalty. These symbols are sometimes combined with a cross to symbolize faith. It is this meaning and symbolism of the Claddagh Rings that make them an ideal choice as gifts for occasions like weddings, engagements, birthdays or mother’s day. Claddagh Ring is used as a traditional wedding ring of the Irish. This ring is a marriage heirloom which is normally passed from mother to daughter on her daughter's wedding day. These rings are also popular as Birthstone Jewelry.

How to Wear a Claddagh Ring the right way?

Many wonder how to wear a Claddagh Ring and who can wear it. There is special significance in relation to the hand it is worn and the direction in which the crown or heart on the ring points.

  • If worn on your right hand with the heart facing outwards it means that you are open to love.
  • If worn on your right hand with the heart facing inwards it means that you are considering being in love.
  • If worn on your left hand with the heart facing inwards it means that you have united your life with another forever. That is why when worn as a Wedding ring it is worn on the left ring finger with the heart facing inward.
  • If you are not interested in starting a relationship the Cladagh ring is worn on the right hand with the crown pointing towards the heart.

Claddagh rings can be worn by both men and women. However the males Ring is normally heavier in weight and normally if gemstones are used the size of the gemstone would be much larger too. The popular metals for the Claddagh rings are silver, gold and platinum. Amazon Online Store has a wider choice for this ring from reputed sellers for both men and women. So if you want to buy this ring as gift for a loved one please feel free to check the suggested listings below.

Claddagh Ring Meaning & History


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  • Anamika S profile image

    Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

    Faybe Bay: Thanks for the encouragement. It means so much to me. I am happy you liked it. The way you have described your sisters ring i have a feeling that it a very beautiful one.

  • Faybe Bay profile image

    Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

    Beutifully done. I am Irish and did not know so much of the significance of the ring. When my sister married it was an elopement with no rings. My father was upset, later her husband had a ring designed for her of black hills gold. three roses, in redtone, with viny leaves in greentone, and set in a sort of raised double thick antiqued gold. It always reminded me of the story of the man designing the claddagh ring. The three roses I guess are for the three men in her life, Her husband, her father and her step-father. The reason for the elopement was she did not want to choose who would give her away.