Claddagh rings are a beautiful symbol of love, loyalty and friendship. It was first designed as a wedding ring over 400 years ago in the Atlantic shores of Galway. The meaning and significance of claddagh ringsare not just in its unique design, it also extends to the hand on which it is worn and in which direction the point of the heart is facing. This timeless design elegantly captures the true essence of marriage and symbolizes the eternal love you hold for your loved one.
Specific Symbolism of a Claddagh Ring
Claddagh rings are traditional Irish rings that are given as a token of love. It is often worn as an engagement or wedding ring due to its three beautiful symbols – love, friendship and loyalty. Of all the common symbols that represent love, faith and loyalty, claddagh rings are the most intricate of all. It is comprised of three distinct elements – the heart, the crown and two hands on either side as if holding the heart. The heart represents love. The hand is a representation of friendship and the crown is a symbol of loyalty.
How the Claddagh Ring Came to Be
The first claddagh ring was believed to be designed by Richard Joyce as a symbol of his undying love for a girl in his hometown named Margaret. It is said that it’s what keeps him going after being a slave for 14 years, working all day in a goldsmith shop. Joyce wished to return to his hometown of Claddagh to offer the ring to Margaret as a wedding ring. He was overcome with joy when he learned that Margaret has remained true to him even after his long absence and have waited patiently for his return. Joyce gave the ring that he created to Margaret which is now widely known as the claddagh ring.
The Use of Claddagh Rings as Wedding Ring
Claddagh rings are immensely popular not just among couples with Irish descent but with people from all origin. It has also been a tradition to pass the ring from one generation to another. A mother would pass the wedding ring to her daughter or daughter in law and so on. Wearing the ring on the left hand with the point of the hand toward the wrist sends the message that the person is married.