I’ve always been fascinated by claddagh rings. I’ve seen them all over jewelry stores and a friend of mine from high school had one. So I decided to do a little research and let everyone, who didn’t already know, what it’s true meaning is!
This traditional Irish ring is a symbol of love, friendship and loyalty. It originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the walls of Galway. The designs of the ring give you its meaning: the heart symbolizes love, the hands represent friendship and the crown signifies loyalty.
Depending on how the claddagh ring is worn on the hand usually tells the wearer’s romantic availability, or lack thereof. When worn on the right hand with the heart facing out, the person is still searching for love. When worn on the right hand with the heart facing in, he or she is in a relationship or ‘someone has captured their heart’. When the claddagh ring is worn on the left hand ring finger, facing outward, it indicates the wearer is engaged, and when the ring is worn on the left hand, facing in, it generally means the person is married.
The claddagh ring is recognized worldwide and many people of Irish and non-Irish descent wear it. It is used as both a cultural symbol and as an engagement/wedding ring. What I found amazing was that there are many legends of how this ring came about, including gifts from the heavens for doing charity work and unforgettable love. However it came to be, this ring is truly valuable to the Irish culture and indeed signifies the cherished qualities of love: heart, friendship and loyalty.