Our Celtic collection showcases handmade jewelry featuring Celtic designs, Giants Causeway Collection, and other Irish jewelry designs.
Roots of Celtic Jewelry’s Inspiration
Celtic jewelry features a variety of distinctive symbols and styles such as tri-spirals and trinity knot jewelry. What inspires the designers who create the intricate knot work and swirling spirals of modern Celtic jewelry? When today’s jewelers look back over the centuries to create pieces that will speak to people today, what ancient finds stand out? Sometimes it is a motif seen on many different items for hundreds of years, but sometimes specific, singular works of art capture the imagination and inspire endless modern jewelry, pottery and other craftworks. Often it can be important concepts which the Celts held dear such as the cycle of life depicted in Tree of Life jewelry.
These are some of the most amazing pieces of inspiring Celtic jewelry found over the years;
The Tara Brooch
The famous Tara Brooch in the National Museum of Ireland wasn’t found at the Hill of Tara. A dealer gave it that name to add interest and value. But the piece has plenty of both regardless of what it is called. The stunning ring and pin is actually a typical cloak fastener, although it is fair to say that most were probably plainer. But this particular one captured the imagination and inspired countless replicas and brooches more loosely inspired by it. The Tara Brooch dates back to about 750 AD, and it is solid evidence that the early medieval Irish were highly skilled metalworkers.
Book of Kells
This amazing volume demonstrates how Ireland gained its reputation as the land of saints and scholars. Begun in 800 AD on an island off the coast of Scotland and finished in Kells, County Meath after Vikings drove the monks away, it features the four gospels in gorgeous illuminated manuscript.
Elaborate animal and shamrock, flora and fauna forms decorate the colorful pages, believed to be the work of seven monks – four scribes and three artists. Since 1861, it has resided in the Long Room of the Trinity College Dublin library, where more than a million visitors have seen it. Discover our shamrock jewelry here.
Cross of Cong
Made to house a relic of the True Cross in 1123 AD, the Cross of Cong takes its name from the village in County Mayo where it was housed for in a friary for centuries. The High King of Ireland, Turlough O’Conor ordered it for use in a procession celebrating the relic. The brass cross is covered in intricate swirls, knotwork and intertwined animal forms in gold filigree decorated with glass pieces. The workmanship is incredible, and the cross illustrates how central Christianity became to the people of Ireland. Click here to browse our collection of Celtic Cross jewelry.
This is a more modern symbol. Richard Joyce of Claddagh village in Galway created the iconic heart, hands and crown design while he was enslaved to a goldsmith in Algeria in the 1670s and ‘80s. He was abducted at sea, while his fiancé was left in Galway. Pining for her, he took inspiration from a popular ring design of the time that featured two clasped hands to represent friendship. He added the heart for love and the crown for loyalty. The story has a happy ending. Joyce eventually returned
to Galway with the ring he made for his beloved, and they wed. Joyce went on to create more Claddagh rings, and soon they became an unofficial symbol of Galway as well as a popular gift for friends and romantic partners. See our range of Claddagh jewelry here.
These are only four of the most famous items that have inspired generations of Irish jewelers. They are part of the foundation of a visual lexicon of Celtic symbols, rich in exquisite detail and complex, swirling lines. This of course includes beloved motifs such as the trinity knot and the tree of life, which also feature round lines and incredible detail. Ancient Ogham stones dotted around Ireland with their carved lines also inspire popular Ogham jewelry. Which ones would you love to wear?
All designs are designed and made in Ireland as well as hallmarked in the Irish Assay Office which is based in Dublin Castle, Ireland and is a sign of quality and purity.
Price includes Free Shipping to North America & all taxes & duties paid.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.