Why is it so popular? The Claddagh is a very popular design in jewelry. A little history on the Claddagh..
A very popular Irish/Celtic ring is the Claddagh ring. Rings with this traditional design are commonly given engagement, wedding or friendship rings.
The Claddagh design originated in the fishing village of Claddagh located near the city of Galway. The design, as we know it today, comes from the 17th century and was first produced during the reign of Queen Mary II.
The Claddagh design has two hands clasping a heart. The design usually includes a crown too. The three elements of the Claddagh design are associated with:
- Heart: to symbolize Love
- Hands: to symbolize friendship
- Crown: to symbolize loyalty
The way a Claddagh ring is worn is said to convey various messages about the wearers 'availability'.
If the Claddagh ring is worn on the right hand and the heart is pointing away from the wearers body then the wearer is signaling they are currently not in a relationship and are potentially 'available'.
If the ring is worn on the right hand but the heart is pointing towards the wearers body, then the wearer is saying that they are in a relationship and that their heart has been 'captured'.
A Claddagh ring worn on the left hand with the heart pointing away from the body means that they wearer is engaged to be married. When worn on the left hand with the heart pointing to the body, this indicates that the person is married.
The Claddagh ring, and all Claddagh jewelry comes from the village of Claddagh. In Irish the work Claddach translates to "stoney beach". That makes perfect sense with the Claddagh village located in an area where Calway Bay intersects the Corrib River. Orignally an old fishing village and I do mean old. The Claddagh village is documented to have been in existence since the 5th century (maybe even earlier).