The Claddagh ring meaning of: Love, Loyalty & Friendship is an age old Irish symbol made up of the hands, heart and the crown and was first designed by a goldsmith from Galway, Ireland. Browse our selection of sterling and gold rings and discover more about this amazing icon.

The Story of Claddagh Ring

Knowing the tale of the man who created it makes own a gold or silver Claddagh ring even more special. This ring isn’t just a richly symbolic motif. The very first one was a labor of love, designed with hope in dire circumstances.

Richard Joyce of the Claddagh Village in Galway was at sea one day fishing. Claddagh village, really just a handful of little cottages outside Galway’s city walls on the bay, was primarily known for fishing. Joyce was captured at sea and wound up in servitude to a goldsmith in Algeria. But his heart was still in Galway, where the woman he loved lived. She probably heard he was abducted, but she had no way to know more.

Joyce discovered he had a gift for jewelry making. At the time, fede rings were popular. They feature two clasped hands. Joyce built on the idea and designed a ring to represent his enduring love for the woman he could only hope was still waiting for him in Galway. He put a heart to represent love
between the two hands, which stood for friendship, and he added a crown above the heart to symbolize loyalty.

Joyce’s story had a happy ending. He eventually returned home and presented the first silver Claddagh ring to his beloved. She had waited, and they wed. Joyce gave up fishing for jewelry making. Soon people were looking for silver and gold Claddagh rings for their beloveds, and Joyce
spent his career crafting them.

All of our sterling silver, 10K and 14K gold Claddagh rings are designed, made and hallmarked in Dublin, Ireland but the Irish Assay office to prove their purity and quality.


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