The first Claddagh ring was supposedly dropped by an eagle into her lap, as a reward for her generosity. In the Claddagh ring that a couple wears, the symbol of the Crown is still taken to represent loyalty. Some people use the traditional style of one solid metal. This version of the Claddagh Ring with two hands holding a heart and no crown was made in Dublin in the 1800's. When it is flipped around, it means that the wearer is married. Irish Claddagh rings feature two hands joined together clasping a heart. The heart of the claddadgh ring stands for love and the crown is a symbol of loyalty. The third and final theory tells the tale of a Spanish prince who fell in love with a young girl from the Claddagh village after the Spanish Armada went adrift off the coast of Ireland in 1588. Claddagh rings, are often mistakenly spelt Clatter Ring or Clodagh Ring, like it sounds (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring. The link between the left side of the body and the heart perhaps originated with the ancient Egyptians but human physiology reveals that the heart seems to be angled to the left side of the body. Unfortunately, Margareth was soon widowed; however, her husband left her a fortune, with which she returned home. Claddagh comes from the Irish phrase, "An Cladch" which means "flat stony shore." OK, so, you’re in a relationship and you’ve just bought your first Claddagh ring… and now you’re worried. The three beautiful symbols make the perfect rings to offer your loved one. However you decide to spell it, the claddagh ring can express your love for another, for your heritage, or for its traditional meaning. Thanks! Claddagh engagement rings and wedding rings are immensely popular among couples of Irish descent. A pair of hands straddle the heart and this is generally accepted as a representation of the friendship that is the foundation of any loving relationship. The choice of the left hand to represent more serious relationships has its origins not in Ireland of three hundred-odd years ago but is far more ancient. Claddagh rings are still a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings. The Claddagh may well be the most widely recognised emblem in Irish jewellery. The Claddagh has actually been worn since Roman times! There are a lot of tattoos that a person can choose to celebrate if he or she has Irish heritage. It’s significance has spread far beyond the Claddagh village where it originated. She married the Mayor of Galway, Oliver Og French. Hi Mairead, I am so intrested in the cladagh design and actually have a ring myself! A crown tops the heart. The unique design is a combination of three symbols: When the Claddagh ring is worn on the left hand with the crown pointing to the tips of the fingers, it is generally meant to denote that the wearer is engaged. Today all three tales have attained mythical status and so we will explore them further. I think we can rule out the story of the eagle dropping the ring from the sky, unless of course he stole it from Richard Joyce. It is therefore not surprising that this beautiful village rich in folklore and tradition gave to the world a wonderful symbol of love, friendship and loyalty - the Claddagh Ring. The king then acquiesced and the pair were married. I just love Claddagh rings and the wonderful story behind them. The Claddagh symbol is comprised of three distinct elements, each an instantly-recognizable symbol in its own right. The Claddagh is worn by Irish people the world over as a source of pride in their heritage. I believe it’s never too late to explore your Irish cultural heritage and celebrate your ancestors’ spiritual legacy. The Egyptians are credited with being the first to record a belief in the Vena Amoris, the ‘love vein’, which was supposed to run from the left ring finger directly to the heart. The people elected their own King, and lived by their own customs and laws, separate from the people of Galway. The Fenians began an effort in the mid-nineteenth century to free Ireland of British rule. Richard learned the craft but also sequestered tiny specks of gold from the workshop every day. The second story tells of an unnamed prince who fell in love with a common maid. However, the design has also been adopted by people from across the world with no familial links to Ireland because of the wonderful symbolism behind the heart, hands and crown. Dylan – Such a beautiful ring and photo – thank you so much for sharing your image. How to wear a Claddagh Ring. Today it is part of the city. The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart surmounted by a crown. It is also not uncommon for a matching pair of Claddagh rings to be worn by mothers and daughters, or by grandmothers and granddaughters. The positioning of the hands on either side of the heart also alludes to how a friendship insulates a bond of love from external forces, creating a nurturing environment for the love to blossom further. This post may contain affiliate sales links. It was the name of the village on the coast of Ireland where the claddagh design originated. Now I’ll read the poem. The Claddagh ring can be worn in a number of different ways to denote the wearers relationship status. The second historical theory centers around another member of the Joyce family. So what do claddagh rings mean? Meaning of Claddagh . The Claddagh ring is the traditional Irish wedding ring. Richard declined, returning once again to Ireland in search of Margaret. 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