Glossary: ​​Claddagh

The Irish Claddagh motif in its symbolic meaning

The motif of the Claddagh comes from the Irish fishing village of the same name and shows two hands holding a crowned heart. It shows a very deep love.

According to legend, the first Claddagh ring was created by an enslaved goldsmith for his fiancée and represents deep love (heart), friendship, connection, trust (hands) and faithfulness or loyalty (crown).

The legend goes something like this: Richard Joyce, a poor Irish fisherman's son, lived in the 17th century. He fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the village, but when the wedding was just around the corner - he was kidnapped from his fishing boat by pirates on the North African coast and sold as a slave. Luckily for Richard, he ended up with a goldsmith who recognized his talent and trained him. So, in his longing, he secretly made a ring for his fiancé from scraps of gold – with the motif that we now call “Claddagh”. In fact, Richard managed to escape a little later, he returned to his homeland and, with the expensive ring, once again proposed to his beloved woman, who of course was just as longingly waiting for him...
Like all legends, this one contains its true core. Richard Joyce was real and he was actually enslaved to a goldsmith and later freed to run a goldsmith's shop in his homeland. Whether the Claddagh motif really came from him or was only attributed to Joyce remains an open question.

We are happy to pass this motif on as a ring from mother to daughter or to a person who means a lot to you (friendship ring). The Claddagh is also popular as an engagement or wedding ring; rarely given away as a necklace pendant or earring. The motif is also very nice as a gift for Mother's Day.

Since the ring can be given as a gift in so many ways, it should the way you put it on reveal its true meaning to the ring bearer.

In jewelery design today, the motif is often interwoven with Celtic knots and patterns and designed as an earring or pendant. This is a nice addition, because these Celtic patterns symbolize in a similar way the infinite connectedness of everything that is - or to the person to whom this piece of jewelery is given. Deep, eternal love, trust, friendship, family. 🤍

925 silver jewelry with the Claddagh symbol

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