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Anniversary Gift Idea: A Claddagh Ring

Updated on May 29, 2014

"Let Love and Friendship Reign"

The claddagh (pronounced Clah-dah) is an Irish ring traditionally given as a token of love. It's easily recognizable design includes two hands holding a heart with a crown on top. It's said to be a symbol of love (the heart), loyalty (the crown), and friendship (the hands).

If you're looking for the perfect Anniversary or birthday gift for your special girl, look no further. A claddagh ring is just what you need to show her how deep your love, commitment and friendship runs.

How To Wear a Claddagh Ring

A lot of people don't realize that the way you wear a claddagh ring has just as much meaning as the symbols carved into it. Depending on how a claddagh is worn, you can determine if someone is single, dating, engaged or married.

  • Single: when worn on the right hand with the heart facing away. If you look down at your hand, the heart should be upside down.
  • Dating: when worn on the right hand with the heart facing towards you. So when you look down at your hand, the heart is right side up.
  • Engaged: when worn on the left hand with the heart facing away. If you look down at your hand, the heart should be upside down.
  • Married: when worn on the left hand with the heart facing towards you. So when you look down at your hand, the heart is right side up.

If you don't know what ring size to get, you can order this free ring sizer. This is just like those metal ones they use at the jewelry stores, except with this one, all the rings are plastic.

The First Claddagh Ring Legend

Richard Joyce

No one really knows the true story of how the claddagh came to be, but that doesn't mean there's a shortage of stories! This is just one of many.

A young man from Galway by the name of Richard Joyce left his true love to make his fortune in the West Indies. As he sailed, his ship was captured by a band of pirates and he was sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith.

After many years of service to the goldsmith, Richard perfected the art of jewelry making himself and eventually became a master craftsman, earning the respect and admiration of his owner. When King William III negotiated the freedom of the slaves in 1689, the Moorish goldsmith offered Richard the hand of his daughter along with a healthy dowry. But Richard refused....His heart still lay in Ireland.

Returning to Galway, Richard found that his love had remained true to him through all those years. In a fitting tribute to his true love, he fashioned the Claddagh ring. The two hands represented their friendship. The crown signified their loyalty. The heart symbolized their love. Richard married his beloved and presented the first Claddagh to her as her wedding ring. And, like any fairytale, the two lived happily ever after....never to be apart again.

Sterling Silver Claddagh Rings

Sterling Silver and Diamond Claddagh Ring

This sterling silver ring will give you the beautiful look without the huge price tag. It's available in whole and half sizes from 6 to 8.

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

3mm sterling silver band with a classic claddagh design

Available in whole sizes 4 - 9

 
Beautiful! Sterling-silver Yellow-gold Black Hills Gold Women's Claddagh Ring Size 5
Beautiful! Sterling-silver Yellow-gold Black Hills Gold Women's Claddagh Ring Size 5

Sterling silver and Black Hills gold ring

Heart is made of yellow and pink BH gold leaves

Available in half and whole sizes 5 - 9.5

 

The First Claddagh Ring Legend

The Eagle and Margaret Joyce

One legend in Claddagh history tells of Margaret Joyce. She married a wealthy Spanish merchant named Domingo de Rona. When her husband died, Margaret inherited de Rona's fortune. While she could have squandered the fortune away buying expensive clothing and jewels, Joyce instead put her money to good work in building bridges and performing many charitable works in Ireland's western counties. To reward her for her extraordinary kindness and generosity, an eagle dropped the original Claddagh Ring into her lap.

Gold Claddagh Rings

0.03 Carat (ctw) 10k Yellow Gold Round Diamond Ladies Bridal Promise Irish Love and Friendship Band

This 10k yellow gold band is made unique with it's pointy crown tips. Features .03 ctw white diamond in the crown.

Beautiful! Yellow-gold Black Hills Gold Women's Claddagh Ring
Beautiful! Yellow-gold Black Hills Gold Women's Claddagh Ring

10k gold ring

Heart is made of 12k green and rose gold leaves

Available in half and whole sizes 5 - 9.5

 
14kt Yellow Gold Black Onyx 5mm Heart Claddagh Ring - Size 4
14kt Yellow Gold Black Onyx 5mm Heart Claddagh Ring - Size 4

14k gold ring

.5 carat black onyx heart

Available in half and whole sizes 4 - 9

 
Claddagh Engagement Ring 18K Gold & Diamond Heart Sz 7
Claddagh Engagement Ring 18K Gold & Diamond Heart Sz 7

18k gold band

.25 carat diamonds in heart and crown

Available in whole sizes 5 - 9

 

The First Claddagh Ring Legend

Gods and Goddesses

Going back further, some believe Claddagh history began with the ancient Celts. The mythical Beathauile is said to represent the Crown. Dagda, father of the Celtic gods, represents the right hand of the Claddagh Ring. Anu, ancestral and universal mother of the Celts, represents the left hand.

In a Christian version of this Irish legend, the crowned heart represents God the Father and the two hands signify Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

White Gold Claddagh Rings

10k White Gold Round Diamond and Green Emerald Ring

This 10k white gold ladies ring features 3 white diamonds and 3 green emeralds for a total carat weight of .13

14kt White Gold Black Onyx and Diamond 6mm Heart Claddagh Ring - Size 5
14kt White Gold Black Onyx and Diamond 6mm Heart Claddagh Ring - Size 5

14k white gold ring

1 carat heart black onyx gem

Accent diamond on top of heart

Available in half and whole sizes 4 - 9

Arrives with a free teddy bear

 
Claddagh Ring 18K White Gold & Diamond Sz 5
Claddagh Ring 18K White Gold & Diamond Sz 5

18k white gold ring

.25 carat tw diamonds in the heart and crown

Made in Ireland

Available in whole sizes 5 - 9

 

The First Claddagh Ring Legend

Unrequited Love

Perhaps the most fated tale claiming to be part of Claddagh history is one of a king who fell in love with a peasant girl. Because of class distinctions between the two, the king could not marry the lowly peasant he loved. His grief was too much for him to bear, so he killed himself. His dying wish was for his hands to be chopped off and placed around his heart as a symbol of his undying love.

Platinum Claddagh Rings

Women's Platinum Celtic Claddagh Wedding Ring

Platinum ring with classy claddagh design

Available in half and whole sizes 6 - 7

Ladies Claddagh Ring in Platinum ( Size 6 )
Ladies Claddagh Ring in Platinum ( Size 6 )

Classic platinum ring

Available in size 6

 

The First Claddagh Ring Legend

The Fisher Kings

Claddagh history merges with tales of the sea in the town of Claddagh, which is said to be one of the oldest fishing villages in Ireland. For centuries, fishermen from the area sailed the sea with the Claddagh crest on their ships and sails. The crest was used for identification. Fishermen without the crest were assumed to be from outside the area. If found fishing in their waters, they were chased away or killed. So the Claddagh ring is also an original symbol of the "Fisher Kings" of the Galway town of Claddagh, Ireland.

Men's Claddagh Ring

Diamond & Green Emerald Ring Claddagh Irish 14k White Gold (0.35ct)

14k white gold (also available in rose gold and yellow gold)

.17 tcw emerald

7 white diamonds, .2 tcw

Available in quarter, half and whole sizes 4 - 14.5

Mens Sterling Silver Wide Claddagh Irish Wedding Ring Size 11.5
Mens Sterling Silver Wide Claddagh Irish Wedding Ring Size 11.5

7mm silver ring

Features claddagh symbol with celtic weave circling the band

Available in half and whole sizes 9 - 13

 

Claddagh Rings By Birthstone

January

Garnet

January's birthstone is the garnet which represents consistency, endurance, creativity, patience, perseverance, and good health.

Sterling Silver and Diamond Claddagh Ring

14k yellow gold with garnet

February

Amethyst

February's birthstone is the amethyst which represents sincerity, intuition, motivation, security, peace of mind, and sobriety.

February Amethyst Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with amethyst

March

Aquamarine or Bloodstone

March's birthstone is the aquamarine which represents courage, creativity, health, perception, hope, beauty, honesty, loyalty, friendliness, and love.

March Aquamarine Birthstone Ring

14k gold with Aquamarine

April

White Topaz or Diamond

Aprils birthstone is the diamond which represents innocence, eternity, courage, health, purity, invincibility, good fortune, love, and strength.

April White Topaz Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with white topaz

May

Emerald

May's birthstone is the emerald which represents love, success, happiness, goodness, faith, courage, and foresight.

May Emerald Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with an emerald

June

Rhodalite, Alexandrite, Pearl or Moonstone

June's birthstone is the pearl, the Moonstone (gemstone), the rhodalite, and the Alexandrite which represents faith, charity, innocence, health, peace, tranquility, longevity, prosperity, purity, and wholesomeness.

June Rhodolite Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with rhodalite

July

Ruby

July's birthstone is the ruby which represents nobility, contentment, love, enthusiasm, strength, success, devotion, integrity, and harmony.

July Ruby Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with ruby

August

Peridot

August's birthstone is the peridot which represents success, peace, married happiness, luck, courage, fame, dignity, protection, passion, and family happiness.

August Peridot Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with peridot

September

Sapphire

September's birthstone is the sapphire which represents clear thinking, wisdom, serenity, purity, truth, faith, love, mercy, victory, and foresight.

September Sapphire Birthstone Ring

10k yellow gold with a sapphire

October

Pink Tourmaline or Opal

October's birthstone is the pink tourmaline or opal which represents hope, purity, health, innocence, happiness, truth, friendship, and emotion.

October Pink Tourmaline Birthstone Ring

10k yellow gold with pink tourmaline

November

Citrine or Topaz

November's birthstone is the citrine or topaz which represents courage, fidelity, wisdom, strength, serenity, providence, good luck, and friendship.

November Citrine Birthstone Ring

10k yellow gold with citrine

December

Blue Topaz, Turquoise or Zircon

December's birthstone is the blue topaz, turquoise or zircon which represents success, love, luck, fortune, happiness, prosperity, piety, courage, harmony, and contentment.

December Blue Topaz Birthstone Ring

14k yellow gold with a blue topaz gem

The Celtic Knot

Sometimes the design changes with the hands being replaced with a Celtic Knot. A commonly used Celtic knot is the Trinity (often called the love knot). It consists of three points that are interconnected in a triangle. It symbolizes the growth of the spirit, life that is eternal, and love that never ends.


Claddagh Celtic Knot Rings

Emerald Celtic Claddagh Knot Ring

14k white gold band with a 1 carat lab created emerald

14K Gold 7mm Celtic Weave Wedding Band 4027 - Size 13
14K Gold 7mm Celtic Weave Wedding Band 4027 - Size 13

14k gold 7mm band

Sizes available in quarter increments 4 - 13

 
14kt White Gold Lab Ruby and Diamond 6mm Heart Claddagh Trinity Knot Ring - Size 7.5
14kt White Gold Lab Ruby and Diamond 6mm Heart Claddagh Trinity Knot Ring - Size 7.5

14k white gold with trinity knot design

.8 carat synthetic ruby center stone

.2 ctw cubic zircona accents

Whole and half sizes 4-9

Click through to see this ring with many other gems and stones.

 

An Old Tradition

Throughout Claddagh history, the ring has With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love. been handed down from mother to daughter with the saying, "With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love."

There is no traditional age when the ring is supposed to be handed down. Each mother determines when her own daughter is ready for this special family heirloom.

As decades pass, it links the generations and brings them closer to each other.

So which story do you believe?




Which one do you think is true?

See results

Photos and text; © 2010-2013 Catherine Taylor. All Rights Reserved

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

All stories come from Fantasy Ireland

This is the inspiration behind this lens. My very own claddagh. I wear mine on my left hand with the heart facing me to show everyone that I'm very happily married.


Do you have a claddagh ring?






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    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      Great information, and beautiful rings!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Nicely done sales lens. I enjoyed reading the stories of the possible origins of the Claddagh ring.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      What a gorgeous selection! Plus, informative to boot! You did a great job on this lens! I have always loved claddagh rings, but do not have one. Beautiful!

    • patinkc profile image

      patinkc 5 years ago from Midwest

      I've learned a lot about these rings. I would love to have one.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I've purchased a lady friend a claddagh ring in the past - I think they're absolutely beautiful, and you've got some of the most gorgeous ones I've ever seen on this lens. Great stuff!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      yes i have a claddagh ring. my fiancée and i both have an irish heritage, so he got me one as my engagement ring <3

    • pixelposy profile image

      pixelposy 6 years ago

      Back for another visit. My mom is headed to Ireland next week and I asked her to find me a special claddagh ring while there. I remembered this lens and had to visit again so I could send the link to her. :)

    • Cath1125 profile image

      Cath1125 6 years ago

      No I don't own a claddagh ring. However my dad had asked my mom what she would like for her 80th Birthday and she said she would love a claddagh ring. Sadly my dad passed away 5 days before her 80th Birthday. My sister and I went with my mam for her to pick out her ring, so she still tells everyone that my dad got it for her 80th birthday, he did really, he just didn't get to give it to her :(

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      No, but they are definitely beautiful. I loved reading the history of the Claddagh. Thanks.

    • Tyla MacAllister profile image

      Tyla MacAllister 6 years ago

      I love all Irish jewelry but Claddagh rings are my favorite. You have given a great presentation of the Claddagh ring and its history.

      *Squid Angel blessed.*

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      You have a very nice presentation here. I have a friend that wore a Claddagh for singles for 8 years until she met her prince charming. They're now married and just had their second child.

    • ravi551854 profile image

      ravi551854 6 years ago

      eye catchy lens

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      Classic....and **angel blessed**!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      These rings are beautiful! I know someone who is wearing one, but I'm not sure if it has moved from the right to the left hand yet or not. Ummm..... this is something I simply must find out :)

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      I wish to receive a claddagh ring this Valentine's Day.

    • profile image

      Derrystephenson 6 years ago

      I love the claddagh rings with birthstones included, never seen those before.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A beautiful ring, beautiful stories, beautifully presented! I love how you show us your own claddagh ring at the last moment! This ring comes with such wonderful traditions, it was a pleasure learning about them.

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 6 years ago

      These are wonderful! I love the design, the story behind them, and the symbolism. Very nice lens!

      ;-)

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 6 years ago

      I love the history behind the Claddagh Ring . . . very nicely presented . . . and blessed!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I don't but I surely do wish that I was Irish so I would have one on my hand now...they are beautiful.

    • CofCJenny LM profile image

      CofCJenny LM 6 years ago

      Didn't know there were specific ways to wear the rings, very interesting!