Claddagh Meaning – What Does Claddagh Ring Symbolize and How to Wear It?

Claddagh is an Irish design used on rings and other jewelry. The symbol reflects friendship, loyalty, and love. Below I have explained how to wear a Claddagh ring.

Claddagh is an Irish design used on rings and other jewelry. The style features a heart adorned with a crown with two hand-style designs on either side holding the heart. The symbol of Claddagh is of friendship, loyalty, and love.

The symbol of Claddagh is of friendship, loyalty, and love.

This article looks into the meaning of Claddagh and what the rings symbolize. The implications of Irish rings will be explored, and how to wear a Claddagh ring will also be described.

Claddagh Meaning

The traditional Irish symbol Claddagh represents a lot of myth and folklore. True to the simple meanings of friendship (the hands), loyalty (the crown), and love (the heart), the design of the Claddagh ring is simple but eye-catching.

The first Claddagh rings were designed by Irish family jewelers T. Dillon and Sons. The roots and name of the ring are actually in keeping with its mythology.

The name Claddagh is shrouded in mystery since there is no reliable record of where the name is originated. The colloquial term for the ring is the ‘heart and hands’ ring.

There is an old Irish folk tale that saw a fishing boat seized by Algerian pirates. The crew included a young fisherman called Richard Joyce, who was soon to be married. But he was sold as a laborer to a goldsmith. After a time, he was able to design what became the first Claddagh ring.

When he lastly succeeded in getting back to Ireland, Joyce was able to marry his bride, and he gave her a ring he had made. Claddagh Ring Meaning

What does the Claddagh Ring Symbolize?

One story to explain the name is that they saw the Irish Claddagh people wearing rings with these designs. The Claddagh people were not wealthy, so, likely, the rings adorning their fingers were not gold but made from less expensive compounds. The rings are likely to have been worn as symbols of marriage.

There is also much evidence that the other side made the rings of a river in Galway despite the name.
Claddagh rings can be bought for oneself or as gifts to demonstrate love and feelings for one another. Traditionally, Claddagh mothers would give the gift of a ring to their daughters. That custom still exists but has now expanded to being gifted as a token of friendship or promise. Some wedding rings now even feature the symbol.

The three motifs that are included in the Claddagh ring have their meaning.
  • Heart: The heart is the dominant feature of the ring. As you might suspect, the heart signifies love.
  • Crown: The crown is a traditional representation of royalty. The crown symbolizes Loyalty.
  • Hands: The hands that combine to hold the heart and the crown represent friendship.
  • Irish Ring Meaning

    Irishness is the primary association with the Claddagh in modern times. While there is some connection to marriage still, nationality is the prominent symbolism it holds nowadays. For Irish people that move overseas, the Claddagh ring represents the enjoyment of life, fun, clever and a calm temperament. The ring is a good talking point and represents all these associations with modern Irish people.

    The feeling of taking a piece of Ireland overseas with them wherever they go is one of the main reasons Irish people buy a Claddagh ring. Irish Americans are particularly fond of the Claddagh since it gives them a wearable association with the old country and their ancestors.

    The Claddagh ring is a symbol of Irishness. Irish ex-pats worldwide wear the ring to bring a piece of Ireland to create an association with their homeland. The Claddagh symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love.

    Which Way Should you Wear the Claddagh Ring?

    The martial traditions of the ring also remain popular with more modern generations. Showing the ring in specific directions is an indication of whether the wearer is open to relationships.

    People who are already in a relationship or not looking for one can turn the ring so that the pointed end of the heart faces their body. Facing the heat away from the body indicates that the wearer is available for romantic relationships.

    The symbolism of this is that the heart faces away from the body as if the wearer is offering their heart. So how to wear a Claddagh ring depends on the wearer’s relationship status. The Claddagh ring endures a gorgeous design that you can wear in a way you want.

    Q & A

    Is it bad luck to buy you a Claddagh ring?

    Over time, the Claddagh design has become popular as a wedding ring. Originally the rings were passed from mother to daughter. Nowadays, many couples of all nationalities adopt the Claddagh symbol for their unique rings. Although there is no evidence of this, there is a saying that it is bad luck to buy a Claddagh ring for yourself and that good luck comes with receiving it as a gift.

    Do you have to be Irish to wear a Claddagh?

    No, it is not needed to be Irish if you want to wear Claddagh. People of all nationalities wear Claddagh rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry.

    Can I give a Claddagh ring to a friend?

    Absolutely, Claddagh rings make great gifts for a friend. What better way to give a special friend a permanent token of your feelings for them with the hands, heart, and crown symbolizing friendship, love, and loyalty?

    Can I wear a Claddagh ring if I am single?

    There are many different ways to wear a Claddagh ring. The method depends on the stage you are at in your life. Before marriage, Claggagh rings are worn on the right hand. Wearing it on your ring finger shows you are open to relationships. Wearing the ring with the heart facing away from the body indicates that you are looking for your partner. If you wanted to show that you are in a relationship, the heart is worn towards the body to show that your heart is taken.
    When you have become engaged, do you move the ring to the ring finger on your left hand? Engagement is signified by wearing the Claddagh with the heart facing away from your body. When you become married, the ring stays on the same finger, but the heart is turned to face your body. This reversing of the ring takes place during the wedding ceremony.

    In Summary

    How to wear a Claddagh ring varies depending on a person’s relationship and marital status. The rings are not always worn to reflect marital or relationship status and may reflect Irish values. As well as on rings, Claddagh is also popular on necklaces, bracelets, or in-pocket charms. Friends and relatives often buy Claddagh jewelry as gifts to sign their feelings to the person. This can be for romantic or non-romantic reasons.