The Claddagh Ring Explained And Its Meaning

The Claddagh Ring, black and white image

In this post, you will learn about one of Ireland’s most liked and most famously designed pieces of jewellery “the Claddagh ring” You may ask what is the ring called? Yes, it’s Claddagh, a traditional Irish ring!!! This symbol of love is famous the world over. It is seen everywhere from online stores to jewellery shops all over the world, and of course in the Emerald Isle.

It has a special connection to Galway and Galway Bay. This ring has special powers!! In Ireland, if some Irish people are looking to ask somebody out on a date they will look at their hand to see if there are “taken”, the ring helps in this regard. This Irish piece of jewellery is worn in certain ways to let people know whether you are single or “taken”.

The Claddagh Ring Meaning

This Irish Claddagh ring’s meaning has lots of interesting facts and stories connected to it. The ring has 3 interconnected parts that have symbolic meaning, one for friendship, a second for loyalty, and a third for love. The heart section of the Claddagh rings represents love, the crown symbolizes loyalty and the hands are a symbol of friendship. By wearing a ring with the Claddagh symbol like this you can show off your love, loyalty, and friendship traits, highlighting your love for your other half. This is truly an interesting Irish thing!

The Claddagh Meaning

The meaning of the word has a long history and it goes way back, the word Claddagh in Irish or Gaelic is “An Cladach” meaning shore or rocky beach. This means the ring’s name and its origins are from the Western part of Ireland.

The Gaelic word, “Cladach”, means rocky beach or shore. This quite literally means that the ring is named after the West of Ireland, where it originates. The name translated to Irish is “An Cladach” which means the shore and there is an area of Galway called Claddagh in the western section of the city. The Claddagh was an old fishing village going back around the 5th century.

This old community sold fish at markets very close to where the Spanish Arch is located in Galway city. This group would be sailing the old type Galway hooker boats, and they would have been fluent Irish speakers, and amazingly they had their own King who ruled the community and dealt with any disputes that may have arisen.

claddagh rings

Claddagh Meaning in English

The Claddagh meaning in English is a traditional Irish symbol for love, loyalty and friendship. It originated in the fishing village of Claddagh near Galway, Ireland and was famously crafted by Richard Joyce, a native of the area who was captured and sold into slavery in 1675. The two hands represent friendship the heart stands for love and the crown above it signifies loyalty. The Claddagh has come to be known as a universal sign expressing devotion, most frequently visually represented as jewellery given as tokens between loving partners or within close-knit families to symbolize undying admiration and unconditional love. Its initial use may have been limited to this part of Ireland, but its meanings are now widely appreciated throughout much of Europe and even North America.

Claddagh Irish Ring

In recent years this piece of Jewellery has been redesigned and combined with other Celtic Irish symbols, corresponding with its popularity as an emblem of Irish identity. These rings are used as engagement rings all over the Emerald Isle. There are many versions available nowadays and these have a few different varieties in design types. It is sometimes stated that Claddagh ring wearing is important, so you need to wear it the correct way according to your status.

This is true and the origins of the ring go back to the 1700s, it is understood that the ring’s name only started to appear after the 1830s onwards. One maker of the original ring type was a 17th-century goldsmith called Barholomee Fallon located in Galway, Ireland. He made the original type of Claddagh rings up until around the 1700s, his rings are the most known example of this old Irish piece of jewellery and the earliest surviving Claddagh rings.

This Irish ring’s meaning is connected to many stories and tales. This metal band belongs to the family of rings known as “fede” rings, it’s available in a few different types of metals, silver, gold, and 18ct white gold. In recent times the Claddagh ring has gained huge popularity, it is sometimes joined with Celtic symbols as a symbol of Irishness making these finger rings very popular all over the world.

How To Wear The Claddagh Ring

two claddagh rings

The Claddagh Irish ring has three main ways you can wear it and this is an Irish tradition. The first is if you are single, you wear it on your right hand with the heart facing outward from the body, this shows people that you are single when anybody looks at your finger. The second is if you are in a relationship, as the saying goes “taken” you will wear this Irish ring on your right hand with the heart of the ring facing inwards. If you are engaged and ready to “tie the knot” you will wear it on your third finger with the heart pointing outwards, this shows you are engaged.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1 – Can you buy the ring online?

Answer – Yes, you can purchase them online via a lot of online shops, one I like is

2 – How much is the ring to purchase?

Answer – The average price that I have seen is around 75.00 euros to 100 euros.

3 – Can someone who is not Irish wear a Claddagh ring?

Yes, of course, people have been wearing them since Roman times, and in recent times they have become very popular.

John C

Hey, my name is John Conway and I love travelling around Ireland. I have a passion for All Things Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle! I love Guinness and green fields!

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