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The significance of the Claddagh Ring

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Few pieces of jewelry can rival the Claddagh Ring when it comes to tradition and significance. When you wear a Claddagh Ring you are wearing a  piece of Irish history.

The Claddagh Ring dates back to the 17th Century when Richard Joyce, a young man from the village of Claddagh in Galway, was captured by pirates. He was sold into slavery in Algeria, where he was apprenticed to a master goldsmith. While in captivity, Richard designed the Claddagh Ring for his true love back home.

How to Wear a Claddagh Ring

If the wearer is:

  • Single: The ring is worn on the right hand with the heart pointing outwards to show that the wearer is ‘fancy free’.
  • In a Relationship: Wear the ring on the right hand with the heart facing inwards (towards your own heart). This shows that the wearer’s heart is ‘taken’.
  • Married: Wear the ring on your left left hand with the heart facing inwards.

Richard Joyce would not recognise the village of Claddagh as it is today. The thatched cottages have long since gone. However, the legend will live on as long as the Claddagh Ring is worn.

This ring symbolises Friendship (hands), Love (heart) and Loyalty (crown).

“Let love and friendship reign”

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