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How Is a Claddagh Ring Worn?

    History of the Claddagh Ring

    • Two theories exist in Irish lore of how the Claddagh ring came into existence. In one, about 300 years ago a woman named Margaret Joyce, who had inherited her husband's wealth, was rewarded with a Claddagh ring dropped into her lap as an eagle flew over her head. The other story states that a man named Richard Joyce, who had been a prisoner to a Moorish goldsmith, was offered riches if he would stay and marry the man's daughter. Richard said no and went home to Claddagh, Galway in Ireland with the first Claddagh ring. There are many legends as to how the Claddagh ring was forged, but what truly matters when giving the ring is the meaning behind the gift.

    The Meaning Behind a Claddagh Ring

    • The Claddagh ring can be worn for many reasons, each one as unique as the person giving the ring and the one wearing it. Love, loyalty, friendship and faith are symbolized in the unique design. Two hands, one on either side, are holding a heart, which is meant to show friendship. The heart in the center of the ring is meant to symbolize love. Sitting on top of the heart is a three-pronged crown, which stands for loyalty.

    What Materials are Used

    • Irish tradition tells the tale of a mother giving her Claddagh ring to her daughter on the day of her wedding. The tradition has traveled to many countries and is not just for marriages any longer. The Claddagh ring was first made of gold and silver, but today it can also be made in sterling silver and embellished with diamonds and birthstones. Ornate or simple, a Claddagh ring is given in love.

    Who Can Wear a Claddagh

    • In today's world, men as well as women are wearing Claddagh rings, but the ring for a man is made heavier and more durable. Characters in popular television shows and movies have been shown wearing Claddagh rings. Rich or poor, commoner or royalty, the Claddagh ring has been given over the centuries to show love and friendship.

    How to Wear a Claddagh Ring

    • There are many ways to wear the Claddagh ring, with many meanings behind each one. In general, a Claddagh ring worn on the right hand with the heart facing away from you means that you have not given your heart to another. If the heart is turned inward it signifies that you may have given your heart. The Claddagh ring worn on the left hand with the heart facing inward tells the world that you are married or are soon to be married to your beloved.

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