The Claddagh is a traditional Irish ring named after the fishing village of the Claddagh that is located beside the city of Galway in the West of Ireland. A Claddagh ring , pendant, earrings or a simple charm can be worn as a symbol of heritage or as a symbol of commitment to three beautiful sentiments. Love – the heart, Loyalty – the crown and Friendship – the hands holding the heart.
The story of how the Claddagh was created goes as follows :
It is said that Richard Joyce created the first Claddagh ring in the late 1600’s . He was a fisherman from the village of Claddagh and whilst our fishing off the cost of Galway was captured by Algerian pirates.
After being captured he was sold on as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith. The goldsmith needed an apprentice. Noticing Joyce’s talent, he taught him the trade.
Whilst in captivity Joyce designed the Claddagh ring for his fiancée in the hope that someday he would be released and return to her.
In 1689, Joyce was released when William III sent an ambassador to Algeria to demand the release of captured slaves. Upon hearing this, his captor offered Joyce half of his wealth and his only daughter in marriage to remain in Algeria such was Joyce’s talent.
Joyce declined the offer, eager to return to his native Galway. Joyce found that his fiancée was waiting for him and he presented her with the Claddagh ring as a symbol of love, loyalty and friendship …they were married soon after.
He was quick to establish himself as a goldsmith in Galway and went on to produce copies of the ring and examples of his work can be seen in the National Museum in Dublin.
Presented in a hinged gift box and with a Certificate of Authenticity.
These are U.S. ring sizes. Please visit our FAQ section for our European ring size guide.