Claddagh jewelry, as we know the design today, has its origins dating back to about the 17th century. It is said the first of these gold Claddagh rings was produced by an Irish fisherman during the reign of Queen Mary II. In the design of this most famous Irish Claddagh jewelry piece, a heart topped by a crown is clasped by two hands. The clasping hands symbolize friendship, the heart represents love and the crown denotes loyalty.
The Story Behind the Origin of Celtic Claddagh Jewelry
The most widely accepted legend surrounding how the first design of Claddagh jewelry came to be is a love story, between Richard Joyce and his beloved. Joyce, a fisherman from Galway, was kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith. During his imprisonment, Joyce learned how to make jewelry from the goldsmith and crafted a beautiful Celtic ring.
After the accession of William III to the throne, all British prisoners were set free and thus Joyce returned to his native village and was reunited with his beloved to whom he gave this ring. This first recognized piece of Claddagh jewelry for women became a symbol of his undying love for her.
Significance of Claddagh Jewelry for Men and Women
Celtic Claddagh jewelry is often given as gifts between lovers. Claddagh rings are most meaningful in this respect, and are often used as Celtic wedding bands or to denote the status of a relationship. For example, with the crown facing inward, the wearer signifies that he or she is not spoken for. If the person wearing a Claddagh ring is in a relationship, however, he or she wears it with the crown facing outward.
Claddagh Jewelry as Gifts
There are really three ways in which to make a gift of online Claddagh Jewelry for women or men. As mentioned, Claddagh jewelry is always an appropriate gift to a loved one or friend because of the meaning historically attached to the design. Secondly, Celtic Claddagh jewelry is meaningful when given to a person who is somehow attached to Ireland, its heritage and people. And, last but not least -- Irish Claddagh jewelry is simply lovely to look at, designed with elegance, simplicity and timelessness.
This is a beautiful collection of traditional Celtic jewelry. The Claddagh design is featured prominently as well as a stunning array of Celtic crosses and traditional clovers. All pieces are handcrafted to perfection in our state-of-the-art Los Angeles factory and are of utmost quality, caliber, and design.