The Claddagh Friendship Ring
This ring symbolises Friendship (hands), Love (heart) and Loyalty (crown).
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 goldsmith. Whilst in captivity, Richard designed the Claddagh Ring for his true love back home.
The ring may be worn with the heart facing inward to show that the wearer’s heart is ‘taken’, or with the heart facing outward to show that he or she is ‘fancy free’.
Although Richard would not recognise the village of Claddagh as it is today, the legend will live on as long as Claddagh Rings are worn.
Aa the motto of the ring states, “May love and friendship reign”.