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The Claddagh Ring

Claddagh Symbolism and How to Wear a Claddagh Ring


Claddagh Ring
Photo: Royal Claddagh, 2007.
The Claddagh, an ancient Gaelic symbol, is today a universal symbol of lasting love, eternal friendship, and loyalty. It was first designed around 400 years ago in a small village near Galway, Ireland. The Claddagh symbol shows a crown above two hands clasping a heart in the middle.

The Claddagh design is used on the traditional wedding ring of the Irish.

The Claddagh is often placed on betrothal bands to represent holding a lover's heart in one's hands. "With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love."

Traditionally, the Claddagh ring has been considered a marriage heirloom. A mother would pass the family Claddagh ring to her daughter on her daughter's wedding day.


Claddagh Symbolism

  • The crown symbolizes loyalty.
  • The hands symbolize friendship.
  • The heart symbolizes love.
  • Sometimes combined with a cross to symbolize faith.


How to Wear a Claddagh Ring

  • If worn on your right hand with the heart facing outwards, it means your heart is still open to love.


  • If worn on your right hand with the heart facing inwards, you are telling the world that you are considering being in love.


  • If worn on your left hand with the heart facing inwards, it means you have joined your life with another forever.


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