The Claddagh is a traditional Irish ring named after the fishing village of Claddagh that 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 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, the crown, and the hands. Traditionally worn on the right hand with the heart pointing outward, this signifies the owner is single. If you are in a relationship, or engaged, the Claddagh ring should be worn on the left hand, with the heart pointing outward ; and when your heart is taken and you are married, the ring should remain on your left hand , with the heart pointing inward.
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. Noticing Joyce’s talent, he taught him the trade.Whilst in captivity he designed the Claddagh ring for his fiancée, in the hope that someday he would be released.
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- a symbol of love, loyalty and friendship, and 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, Dublin. I think you will agree that it makes a wonderful story.
You can see our Claddagh jewelry at www.connemaramarble.com and use the code patricksday to receive 15% discount at the checkout until 17th March.
Sláinte , Stephen.