Claddagh Rings: A Uniquely Irish Experience Of Love

posted by Chris Valentine

The Claddagh Ring is a beautiful Irish tradition, which may be a celebration of friendship, love or Irish heritage, and many couples choose Claddagh Rings as engagement and wedding rings. A Claddagh Ring may be passed down the family for generations, and our range of stunning Claddagh Rings includes traditional designs as well as beautiful rings with a modern twist.

At Aran Sweater Market, all of our clothing and jewellery is created with Irish heritage in mind. Our range takes its inspiration from the unique land and the hardworking people who have lived on it for centuries. Our Claddagh Rings are no exception, and you can be sure that you’ll find something you love in our collection.

What is a Claddagh Ring?

A Claddagh Ring is a traditional Irish keepsake, featuring the Claddagh at its centre. The Claddagh is an emblem of love and eternal devotion, and combines a heart, the symbol of love, with hands, to symbolise friendship, and a crown, which symbolises loyalty. These elements combine to create a design that is integral to Irish heritage, and legend tells that whoever wears the Claddagh Ring becomes a part of its history.

The positioning of the Claddagh Ring on your hand is said to display your relationship with your loved one, and this is a tradition that you can embrace with a Claddagh Ring of your own. If you are in love, the Claddagh ring should be worn with the heart pointing towards your body, and you should wear it with the heart pointing outward if you are not yet committed. If you are married or engaged, according to tradition, it should be worn on the third finger of your left hand.

Where did the Claddagh Ring originate?

According to legend, the first Claddagh Ring was crafted in 1689, in the fishing village of Claddagh, now a suburb of Galway City. It is believed to have been made by a sailor, Richard Joyce, who had been captured by pirates and forced to work as a slave for a Goldsmith in Algeria. The story goes that he was freed from slavery after twelve years, when an ambassador arranged for his release along with all other British subjects, and he sailed home with the wedding ring he had created from scraps during his imprisonment and gave it to his sweetheart with the words, “With these hands I give you my heart, and I crown it with my love.”

An further legend suggests that Richard Joyce’s design of the Claddagh Ring was inspired by a ring dropped into the lap of his ancestor, Margaret Joyce, almost a hundred years earlier. Margaret Joyce had, according to the legend, married a rich Spanish merchant and returned to Ireland as a rich widow, eventually getting re-married to the Mayor of Galway. She was responsible for many improvements in her local area, funding bridges and trading facilities, and was rewarded for her generosity by the Claddagh Ring, which was dropped into her lap by an eagle.

Records show that Richard Joyce continued to work as a Goldsmith until 1730, specialising in the Claddagh Ring, which became a popular choice. He also created many ecclesiastical relics, and his superior craftsmanship was recognised as something special, beginning the heirloom tradition of the Claddagh Ring in Galway and throughout Ireland.

Claddagh Rings To Treasure

Your Claddagh Ring will be a precious addition to your jewellery collection, whether it is your wedding ring, a treasured gift of friendship or a memento to pass on to your child. Take a look at our range of Claddagh Rings, which includes something for everyone:

  1. Ladies 10K Gold Claddagh Heart Ring. This stunning sterling silver ring features a ten Carat gold heart, and is the perfect choice for a wedding or engagement ring. The Ladies 10K Gold Claddagh Heart Ring is crafted by skilled Irish jewellers and hallmarked in Dublin Castle, combining symbolism and quality in perfect union.

  1. 9K Gold Hallow Back Maids Claddagh Ring. This classic Claddagh Ring is designed in solid gold, perfect to show the special lady in your life how much you care. The 9K Gold Hallow Back Maids Claddagh Ring is handcrafted in Ireland and is a beautiful way to declare your love and celebrate your Irish heritage in the way that generations of Irish people have done before you.

  1. Ladies Oxidised Claddagh Ring. If you’re looking for something special, the simple and beautiful Ladies Oxidised Claddagh Ring is perfect for you. Designed to make the most of Irish hallmarked sterling silver, this ring is oxidised to create a contemporary ‘blackened’ look that makes it stand out from the crowd. The Claddagh appears at the centre of the ring, and the design is an understated and beautiful way to embrace the tradition of the Claddagh Ring.

  1. Silver Celtic Claddagh Ring. This unique and gorgeous Silver Celtic Claddagh Ring is a delicate design that features an open Claddagh centre and includes traditional Celtic knot work for a further connection with Irish heritage. Featuring the heart, hands and crown of the Claddagh, this Irish sterling silver ring is hallmarked in Dublin Castle and will make a beautiful gift for the one you love.

  1. Sterling Silver Maids Claddagh Ring. Love, loyalty and friendship are at the core of this traditional ring. The elegant Sterling Silver Maids Claddagh Ring is hallmarked in Dublin Castle and features the ancient Celtic Claddagh design that means so much to those with Irish heritage.

  1. Green Cubic Zirconia Claddagh Ring. The Green Cubic Zirconia Claddagh Ring is a breathtaking Claddagh Ring that will surely turn heads, and is a wonderful choice as an engagement ring. Featuring a stunning green heart surrounded by cubic zirconia crystals, this Claddagh Ring is a fine example of Irish craftsmanship and pays tribute to the ancient Irish tradition of the Claddagh in style.

At Aran Sweater Market, we will be delighted to show you our range of Claddagh Rings and help you to choose the design you love.

Claddagh Rings From Aran Sweater Market

You can visit one of our stores in the Aran Islands, Galway, Killarney or Dublin to choose your Claddagh Ring, or you can visit our extensive online store, which caters for customers worldwide. Take the time to browse our catalogue and explore our range of Celtic inspired jewellery and traditionally knitted garments and items for the home.

You’ll find Irish Sweaters, ponchos and scarves, as well as traditional hats and caps, unique homewares, and clothing and toys for babies and children. Our products are well loved by those who have Irish heritage and those seeking a beautiful memento of the Emerald Isle. Discover the Claddagh Rings at Aran Sweater Market today.

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