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The Mystery of Celtic Jewelry

Updated on December 27, 2014

The mystery of Celtic jewelry begins with its historic design passed on from generation to generation. Steeped in legend and mystery each and every piece incorporates symbolism specific to the Emerald Isle and it’s people. Here are a the top 3 images you will often see replicated in true Celtic jewelry.

The Sign of the Cross

The Celtic Cross has long been a theme of this beautiful green island. Dating before St. Patrick the Celtic cross is a variation of the traditional Christian cross and includes a circle at its center. This circle is said to unite the arms of the cross and link it to life-giving properties like that of the sun. In the mid 1800’s the creating and use of the Celtic cross became popular on all things Irish and was included in much of the Celtic jewelry from that point on.

The Irish Knot

Probably the most famous piece of Celtic symbolism, the knot dates back to at least 450 AD. The Irish not refers to a life without end or a spiritual path or relationship that is an endless and infinite path. It can represent an uninterrupted life cycle and is sometimes worn as a charm. Celtic knots are each unique and can be as unique as the artist who created it. Popular themes include the trinity knot, the mandala sun symbol and the pyramid style knot popular on many tattoos.

The Claddagh

A favorite symbol of lovers, the Claddagh is often used on wedding or friendship rings. It contains two hands holding a heart and a crown. The two hands represent friendship while the heart and the crown remind us to be loyal. Claddagh folklore spins the tale of an Irishman who was captured and enslaved the week he was to marry. As he labored away in the home of a goldsmith he was taught the trade of manipulating fine gold. At his escape, Richard returned to his intended and created the now famous Claddagh ring to tell his wife he would be faithful and loyal to the end.

Each piece of Celtic jewelry has a story to share, just like the Irish themselves.

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    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Hi poetryman6969, Thanks for stopping by. The design are lovely and I love the meaning behind them.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      I love these designs. I can't get enough of them.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Yes the designs are interesting and intricate.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by Catherine. I am glad you learned something. I am looking forward to reading your articles.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I do love the design of this jewelry. Interested history.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I've often seen this design, but never understood what it means. Thanks.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      That's awesome Nell Rose. I have a cross but would love a knot pendant too.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      Hiya, most of my jewelry is Celtic stuff, from the Crosses to knots etc, I just love them! interesting stuff, and looking at the pendant and earrings...LOL!

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      You're welcome Mary. I'm glad you found the hub interesting. Happy New Year!

    • Mary Tilden profile image

      Mary Tilden 

      3 years ago from Winters, California

      Interesting hub! The Irish in me wants to find these symbols and wear them in honor of my ancestry! I may have to resort to the knot and not the cross, however, since I'm a true Protestant at heart. Thank you for sharing!

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Hi Eiddwen. I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Happy New Year.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      3 years ago from Wales

      Very interesting and looking forward to following you on here.

      Eddy.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Thank you PinoyMom. I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Happy New Year.

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 

      3 years ago from Philippines

      I'm not aware of Celtic jewelries as well as it's history. Great hub.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Hi Sandy, Thank you for reading the hub. Jewelry is more specially when it is meaning and history, I think.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Thank you klidstone 1970. I am glad you enjoyed the article.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I do love the Celtic jewelry and the history of it.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 

      3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      I love the history behind this. The jewelry is beautiful. It's amazing how the symbols are known to this day. Very interesting read.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Thank you MartieCoetser. Yes to me jewelry is more interesting when they have meaning to the wearer. Thank you.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      3 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting! When looking at jewellery one tends to think that the design is but only a design, while it is in fact rooted in a very old custom. Thanks for reminding us of the Celtic designs.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Hi Billybuc. I understand. Thank you for reading the Hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting information. I am not big on jewelry, but I do like Celtic jewelry.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      I love Celtic jewelry too. Thank you Adventuretravels.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna 

      3 years ago from UK

      I love Celtic jewelry - I particularly love the Irish Knot and all it symbolizes.

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