Classic Claddagh Ring: What It Means And How To Wear It?

Classic Claddagh Ring

Classic Claddagh Ring: What It Means And How To Wear It?

The Claddagh ring, rooted in traditional Irish folklore, is a classic symbol of love and affection. It’s distinctive jewelry that people widely wear matched with fashion jewelry. When you see this ring very first, many of you must be curious: Is there any special meaning behind the Claddagh ring of unique design? How should I wear it correctly?

Well, right here, let’s find out the interesting and quick answers to the questions. Discover the fun facts about the Claddagh ring’s meaning and ways to wear it now! 

Irish Claddagh Ring Meaning

Irish Claddagh Ring Meaning

A Claddagh ring is a gold or silver band featuring two hands gently clasping a heart crowned with a crown. You can recognize the Claddagh ring by three symbolic elements: two hands, the heart, and the crown.

An old Irish saying goes along with the Claddagh ring: “With these hands, I give you my heart and crown it with my love.”  The Claddagh ring is associated with Ireland and its people, but it can have meaning for people of all cultures and customs. Symbolically, the Claddagh ring represents love, loyalty, and friendship.

Claddagh rings have been around for centuries traced back to the 1700s. They are part of the European rings known as fede rings. Fede rings are named after the Italian phrase “mani in fede”, meaning “hands joined in faith”.

Meaning Of Claddagh Ring

Meaning Of Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring has a long history but represents three things today: friendship, loyalty, and love. Each of the three motifs on the Claddagh ring represents:

  • Two Hands: the hands that join to hold the heart and the crown above symbolize friendship.
  • The Heart: as you might expect, it represents love.
  • The Crown: the crown is a classic symbol of loyalty, thus the crown is the symbol of loyalty/fidelity.

The three motifs are unified symbols of affection and commitment to a platonic or romantic relationship. The meaning of the Claddagh ring can be as simple as that or more personal, depending on who gave you a ring.

Perhaps you wear the ring to represent the friendship you have with someone. Perhaps you show your loyalty to your partner. It could also indicate that you are in love. 

Origin Of The Claddagh Ring

Origin Of The Claddagh Ring

There’re many myths and legends around the origin of the Claddagh ring. But it’s almost certain that the Claddagh ring dates from the 17th century and originated in the little village of Claddagh in Galway, Ireland. 

Margaret Joyce

A legend has it that the Claddagh ring is related to Margareth Joyce, a woman of the Joyce family. Margaret Joyce married a Spanish man named Domingo de Rona, who left her a lot of money when he died. Joyce return to Ireland and married the Mayor of Galway. 

With the money she inherited from the first marriage, Joyce funded the construction of the first bridge in Galway and Sligo. Because of Joyce’s good work and charity, an eagle dropped the first Claddagh ring into her lap. 

Richard Joyce

Another story of the Claddagh ring’s origin particularly involves Richard Joyce. He is a silversmith from Galway circa 1700, who is said to invent the Claddagh design.

Richard Joyce was captured and enslaved by pirates around 1675 while sailing in the West Indies. He was apprenticed to a master goldsmith who taught him the craft. Years later, Joyce was released and back to Galway and brought along with him the ring he crafted when in captivity: what we’ve known as the Claddagh. He gave the ring to his sweetheart, married. Joyce then became a goldsmith and started his own jewelry business with “considerable success”. 

The earliest surviving Claddagh rings bear the initials of Richard Joyce, providing further evidence that this is the correct origin story.

How To Wear Your Claddagh Ring?

How To Wear Your Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring is still popular today. It’s worn by people worldwide for various reasons. You can wear them in handfasting ceremonies or exchange them for friendship tokens. You can wear them as engagement rings or wedding bands. 

Whatever the reason, such beautiful and classic-design rings can be worn any way you like. But, if you want to adhere to Irish tradition, here’re a few rules to follow: 

If you’re single: 

put the ring on your right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips. The message is that you have an open heart to love.

If you’re in a relationship: 

wear the Claddagh ring on the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist. Wearing the Claddagh ring in this way means someone has captured your heart.

If you’re engaged: 

wear the ring on your ring finger on the left hand with the point of the heart pointing toward the fingertips. This symbolizes a lifetime commitment.

If you get married: 

wear the ring on the ring finger of your left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist. It tells people you’re married and no longer in the market. 

Still unsure about how to wear the rings after reading the rules? Here’s a video that helps.

Styles And Materials Of Claddagh Rings

More than the rules mentioned, selecting the Claddagh ring style fits you to form a more elevated look.  

A true Claddagh ring must have the three elements-a pair of hands, a heart, and a crown. Some of the rings have these motifs formed by being cut, molded, or cast, others have them etched or carved into a solid metal band. Usually, men wear heavy and wide Claddagh rings, women wear thinner ones.

When it comes to materials, you will discover many Claddagh rings are made of silver or gold. But, you can also find other metals, like white gold and Platinum, used on them. Besides, it’s common to see a heart-shaped gemstone like a diamond, emerald, sapphire, moonstone, etc. set into the ring. 

Claddagh rings, in whatever styles or materials you prefer, are a wonderful way to show your love for your loved one and the world.


1. Is Claddagh ring Catholic?

Because Ireland has a long history with Catholicism, the ring can also represent the Holy Trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Except for religious and romantic gestures, many people keep it as a souvenir of Ireland.

2. What does it mean when a man wears a Claddagh ring?

Pride and loyalty. Men and Women, of Irish heritage, often wear the Claddagh ring to signify pride and loyalty to their Irish roots.

3. Can a non-Irish person wear a Claddagh ring?

Yes. The meaningful symbolism behind the Claddagh ring makes it a celebrated romantic gift for people all over the world.

Hands Holding Hearts

I hope you’ve explored something new and interesting about the Claddagh ring’s meaning and how to wear it. With deep meaning, you can wear it on many occasions like weddings and engagements. Moreover, you can add your unique style

Read more: Top 10 Best Luxury Engagement & Wedding Ring Brands 2022

Laura Halen is a Creative Content Writer. She has more than 10 years of experience in writing for the fashion industry. She is an expert at writing well research and well-crafted content.

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