Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Claddagh Jewelry: Rings for Forever Love

14k Rose Gold Two-Piece
Claddagh Wedding Set

Why I Love Claddagh Jewelry

The first time I saw Claddagh (sometimes spelled Claddaugh) jewelry, I was struck by the romanticism of the motif. The fact that the design is a traditional Celtic/Irish symbol was a plus.

For generations, our family believed our great-great-great-grandfather (there may be another great in there) came from Ireland.

Truth is, a few years ago when my brother started putting together the family genealogy, we found out our ancestor was a French Huguenot running from persecution. He did, however, travel to the United States by way of traveling through Ireland first.

Even so, the idea that we were Celtic in origin left it's mark on the entire clan. As a teen, the Claddagh design was very appealing to me. I had a Claddagh ring I loved to wear.

Dermot O'Brien: The Ould Claddagh Ring

Traditional Meanings of the Way Claddagh Rings are Worn

At the time, I did not know the traditional meanings of the way the ring was worn. Wearing the ring on the right hand, with the crown facing your wrist means that you are not in love. Wearing it on the right hand with the crown turned toward the end of your fingers means that you like someone. When the ring is worn on the left hand, with the crown turned toward the end of your fingers, it means you are in love and committed to that love. For this reason, I think the Claddagh is a perfect wedding band.


Dating from Roman times, the Claddagh is a symbol of faith, love, friendship, and loyalty. Below, I have included a video with an Irish song that tells the traditional story of the Claddagh ring.

Among the famous people in history who have worn the Claddagh ring are Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra, King Edward VII, Prince Rainier, Princess Grace, and Ronald Reagan.

The Original Meaning of the Claddagh Ring

Being Irish

Sometimes, I wonder what the mistaken belief that my family was of Irish origin changed in my life. For instance, I love Irish folk songs and love the Irish accent. If we hadn't believed we were Irish, would I have even known about Irish folk songs?

10k Gold Claddagh
Engagement Ring
I married a man who is Irish from both branches of his family!

While his heritage was not a deciding factor in my loving him, it was a definite plus when I first met him.

He doesn't have an Irish accent, but his hair has tints of red. Years ago, when he decided to grow a beard, it came in flaming red!

What effect does heritage play?

My dad once said that he thought he was Irish, believed he was a fighter and wanted to be a lover like a French man. After learning he was French, he said that maybe he was really a lover that thought he was a fighter. Dad's sense of humor aside, heritage is important. It gives us a sense of where we came from.

In our case, genealogy shed light on our past and developed an interest in knowing more about the French heritage. At any rate, my children get to claim what I no longer can: They have a definite Irish heritage!

The Right Way to Wear the Claddagh Ring

claddagh ring tells a story of endless love
(c) Linda Pogue

Do you like Claddagh jewelry, too?

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