The History of Claddagh Jewellery

  1. Admin
  2. January 23, 2012 5:35 pm

The History of Claddagh Jewellery

Claddagh Jewellery in particular claddagh rings are a popular choice of jewellery among people of all ages. So what’s its history? Many people don’t realise that Claddagh is an actual place in Ireland.
Legend tells us that in the Early part of the 16th century a man named Richard Joyce from the small village of Claddagh, County Galway, Ireland was enslaved and shipped off to the West Indies. He was captured the same week he was due to be married, understandably his bride-to-be was inconsolable. While at sea, the slave ship he was sailing on was attacked by Moor pirates. Richard was captured by the pirates and became a Moor slave. As the years passed he became a master Goldsmith but he never forgot the love of his life back home in Ireland. He skilfully shaped a unique ring for this women to show his love for her. Two hands cradling a crowned heart, the heart symbolising love, the hands for friendship and the crown for loyalty. The design (now know as Claddagh) represented the wish that love and friendship should reign supreme. Eight years later he was released and he returned to his native Ireland and to his great joy the women he loved was there waiting for him and they never separated again.
This is how Claddagh became a great traditional wedding ring among the people of Claddagh, in Galway, two centuries ago, today it is still accepted that the joining hands, heart and crown represent an everlasting bond of friendship, love and loyalty.
Traditionally the Claddagh ring can be worn three ways. It is said when placed on the right hand with the heart facing out the wearer’s heart is still looking for love. When placed on the right hand with the heart facing in, there are possibilities of love and when worn on the left hand with the heart facing in, the wearer’s heart is promised forever.

 

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