Jewellery is something that is always more precious when it is worn with meaning. Whether it is that very special wedding ring or a family heirloom passed down the generations, jewellery with a story to tell is always extra special.
Claddagh rings carry their own special tale. A Claddagh ring is infused with the mystery of Irish Celtic folklore, but it is more than just this. The beautiful design is both ancient and carries a unique message that has remained unchanged for centuries. To make it even more meaningful, what this message denotes changes depending on how the ring is worn.
But just what is a Claddagh ring? And what is the message that wearing the ring tells? Read on to find out more about this uniquely meaningful and beautiful jewellery piece.
What is a Claddagh Ring, and what does it mean?
The unique and mesmerising design of the Claddagh ring has a history that is steeped in rich Celtic folklore. In true romantic fashion, the legend of the ring tells the tale of a young man from Claddagh sold into slavery.
As the years rolled by, he pined for his home and the sweetheart he left behind. During this time, he stole small pieces of gold from his master, and with these, he fashioned a ring to present to his lost love when he made it home.
The ring encapsulated his feelings for his beloved, it symbolises love, friendship and trust, everything he’d lost but not forgotten. Each element of the ring represents one of these sentiments. There is a heart for love, a pair of clasped hands for friendship, and a crown for loyalty. These are still the symbols that grace a Claddagh ring today.
For the young man, legend tells of a happy ending. After many years he finally manages to return home and finds his childhood sweetheart waiting for him. He presented her with the very first Claddagh ring, and the legend was born.
This is what the Claddagh ring is, an ancient symbol of love and friendship bathed in the history of a mystical land.
How do you wear a Claddagh Ring?
We are used to categorising rings – There are wedding rings, engagement rings, and dress rings. One of the unique things about a Claddagh ring is it can be all of these, and how it is worn changes depending on the status of the wearer.
Put simply, a single person will wear the ring differently from a married person. How a Claddagh ring should be worn is described below.
How to wear a Claddagh Ring if you are single
Single people should wear the Claddagh Ring on any finger of the right hand. The heart symbol on the ring should point outwards. This style of wearing the ring says that the wearer is single and has an unattached heart.
How to wear a Claddagh Ring if you are in a relationship
For those in a relationship but neither married nor engaged, then a Claddagh ring should be worn on the right hand. The heart on the ring should point inwards, this denotes that the heart is taken.
How to wear a Claddagh Ring if you are engaged
Engaged people should wear the ring on the left-hand ring finger. The heart should point outwards, this is traditionally the way engaged couples wear the ring.
How to wear a Claddagh Ring if you are married
Okay, you’ve probably guessed it by now! Married couples traditionally wear their Claddagh ring on their left-hand ring finger with the heart pointing inwards.
Claddagh Rings are something very rare indeed. They are jewellery pieces with a story to tell, a meaning to their design, and a heritage that has a place in Irish folklore.
The symbolic beauty and mysticism of Celtic patterns have withstood the passage of centuries and is still revered around the world as an enduring and widely recognised masterpiece of design.
The Claddagh Ring epitomises what Celtic design is all about. Beauty, symbolism, and a little bit of ancient magic all rolled into a stunning jewellery piece.