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The Claddagh is a traditional Irish ring named after the fishing village of Claddagh which is located right 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 Irish heritage or simply as a symbol of commitment to three beautiful sentiments.
The three symbols make the perfect rings to offer your loved one. The symbols for love, loyalty & friendship are represented in the heart for love, the crown for loyalty and the hands for friendship.
The story of how the Claddagh ring 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 out fishing off the cost of Galway was captured by Algerian pirates.
He was sold on as a slave to a moorish goldsmith. The goldsmith needed an apprentice and noticing Joyce’s talent, he taught him the trade.
Whilst in captivity Richard designed the Claddagh ring for his beloved fiancée whom he missed dearly, in the hope that someday he would be released and could present it 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.
Joyce declined the offer, eager to return to his native Galway. On returning to Galway, Joyce found that his fiancée was waiting for him, and he presented her with the Claddagh ring explaining the symbols 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. Examples of his work can be seen today in the National Museum, Dublin. I think you will agree that this makes a wonderful story.
Here at Connemara Marble we have taken inspiration from Richard’s timeless design and have used our gemstone to create our range of Claddagh jewelry. To celebrate Valentine’s Day we now have 15% off all Celtic Pendants! Take a look over at www.connemaramarble.com
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