How do I wear my Claddagh Ring?
When the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart nearest the fingernail, it indicates that the wearer is single and available.
When worn similarly on the left hand, it means that the wearer is single but has an occupied heart.
When the ring is worn on the left hand with the crown nearest the fingernail, it means that the wearer is married.
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The History of the Claddagh Ring
The Claddagh is said to have been created by Richard Joyce from Galway, who was taken into slavery by pirates over 400 years ago. While in slavery, separated from his true love back home, he learned the skills of a Silversmith and created the ring with the Heart, Crown and Hands which symbolize the virtures of Love, Loyalty and Friendship. When finally released from captivity 14 years later, he returned to Ireland where he presented the ring to his sweetheart and they were married.
The Claddagh was passed from a mother to the first daughter and worn to symbolise friendship and as a wedding ring.
The ring was not indigenous to the people of the Claddagh village but came to be called the Claddagh ring due to the population of Claddagh using the ring.
The Claddagh ring is a member of a group of rings called Fede or ‘faith rings’ which date back to Roman times. They are cast in the form of two hands, representing trust and faith. The Claddagh ring though is quite distinctive: the two hands clasp a heart which is surmounted by a crown
They were a private community and mostly married within the village to ensure the survival of their local customs including the ‘Claddagh Ring’. The people of this village spoke Irish and lived in their settlement of cobbled streets, small squares and thatched mud-walled houses.
Claddagh is an ancient fishing village, situated just outside Galway City on west of Ireland. The name ‘claddagh’ comes from the Irish ‘an cladach’ meaning a flat, stony shore.