The Claddagh Ring Legend
There are variations of how
the symbol of the Claddagh first came about but there is no doubt that
it was originally designed and originated in Claddagh in Galway. Claddagh was a small fishing village on the banks of Galway Bay and although it no longer exists as a village, the legend of the Claddagh lives on as one of the greatest love symbols of all times.
The original Claddagh is attributed to Richard Joyce from the Claddagh. The week he was due to marry his sweetheart, Richard Joyce was kidnapped by slave traders. He was taken to North Africa where he learned the trade of goldsmith. It was here that he designed the Claddagh ring for his lost love back in Ireland.
When he was finally released his master asked him to stay and offered him riches and the hand of his only daughter in marriage. But Richard Joyce declined, eager to return to his Irish love. With much trepidation he returned to Galway to find that the girl he had been due to marry so many years before had never married. This is when the first ring was presented as a symbol of love and loyalty.
Claddagh Ring Explanation
The Claddagh ring design exists in many different forms but all are based on the crown, hands and heart. The crown signifies loyalty, the hands symbolise the hands of friendship and the heart naturally signifies love. Because the Claddagh signifies loyalty, friendship and love it is often given as a token of love or friendship and the theme suggests "Let Love and Friendship Reign".
How to wear the Claddagh ring
Legend says, that when one wears the ring on the right hand, the crown turned inward, the world may see the heart as yet unoccupied. When the crown is turned outward, love is being considered. When worn on the left hand, crown turned outward, two loves have become inseparable.
Watch a beautiful video of the Claddagh Legend here