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Claddagh Symbol History and Meaning

The Claddagh symbol is an iconic symbol is jewellery and has a rich history and meaning. A Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring in which a heart represents love, the crown stands for loyalty, and two clasped hands symbolise friendship.The design and customs associated with it originated in Claddagh, County Galway. Its modern form was first produced in the 17th century.

Claddagh rings are relatively popular among the Irish and those of Irish heritage, such as Irish Americans, as cultural symbols and as friendship, engagement and wedding rings.

According to Irish author Colin Murphy, a Claddagh ring was worn with the intention of conveying the wearer's relationship status:

  1. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and might be looking for love.
  2. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship; someone "has captured their heart"
  3. On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
  4. On the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.