Irish Claddagh Rings? What are they about?

Okay, so i know the claddagh ring represents fildelity and loyalty (the crown), love (the heart), and friendship (the lips). Can only people who have an irish heritage wear the ring? Is it alright for anyone to wear the claddagh ring? Would it be innapproproate if anyone, who isn't irish, had the ring?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Claddagh Ring

    Ring of CladdaghThe Claddagh Ring is a famous friendship ring originating from the Claddagh village, located just outside the old walls of Galway city in Ireland.

    The Claddagh design, an original symbol of the "Fisher Kings" of the Galway town of Claddagh, Ireland, was first fashioned into the traditional ring in the 17th Century during the reign of Mary II.


    The ring's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of friendship (the hands), loyalty (the crown) and love (the heart).

    The way that a claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey some indication of the wearer's romantic availability. It is generally true that if the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing away from the hand, indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship. A ring worn on the right hand, with the heart facing inward toward the hand indicates the person wearing the ring is in a serious relationship. A claddagh worn on the left hand with the heart facing inward toward the hand indicates that the wearer's heart is truly spoken for. The other orientation (heart away from hand) indicates being engaged.

    Sometimes when the ring is being given to someone as a gift in friendship or love it is given with words:

    "With my two hands I give you my heart and crown it with my love"


    There are many different stories about the origin of the ring.

    One story is about Margareth Joyce, a woman of the Joyce clan. She married a Spanish merchant, called Domingo de Rona. She went with him to Spain, but he died and left her a lot of money. She returned to Ireland and, in 1596, married Oliver Ogffrench, the mayor of Galway. With the money she inherited from her first marriage, she funded the construction of bridges of Connacht. All this out of charity, so one day an eagle dropped the Claddagh ring into her lap, as a reward.

    Another story tells of a Prince who fell in love with a common maid. To convince her father his feelings were genuine and he had no intentions of "using" the girl, he designed a ring with hands representing friendship, a crown representing devotion, and a heart representing love. He proposed to the maid with this ring, and after the father heard the explanation of the symbolism of the ring, he gave his blessing.

    One story that may be closer to historical truth is about a man called Richard Joyce, another member of the Joyce clan and a native of Galway. He left his town to work in the West Indies intending to marry his love later that week, but his ship was captured and he was sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith. In Algiers, with his new master, he was trained in his craft. When William III became king, he demanded the release of all British from the Moors. As a result, Richard Joyce was set free. The goldsmith had such a great amount of respect for Richard Joyce that he offered Joyce his daughter and half his wealth if Joyce stayed, but he denied his offer and returned home to marry his love who awaited his return. During his time with the Moors he forged a ring as a symbol of his love for her. Upon his return he presented her with the ring and they were married.

    "Several individuals of this name have long felt grateful to the memory of William III. from the following circumstance, on the accession of that monarch to the throne of England. One of the first acts of his reign was to send an ambassador to Algiers to demand the immediate release of all the British subjects detained there in slavery, the dey and council, intimidated, reluctnatly complied with this demand. Among those released, was a young man of the name of Joyes, a native of Galway, who, fourteen years before, was captured on his passage to the West Indies, by an Algerine Corsair; on his arrival at Algiers, he was purchased by a wealthy Turk who followed the profession of a goldsmith, and who observing his slave, Joyes, to be tractable and ingenious, instructed him in his trade in which he speedily became an adept. The Moor, as soon as he heard of his release, offered him, in case he should remain, his only daughter in marriage, and with her, half his property, but all these, with other tempting and advantageous proposals, Joyes resolutely declined; on his return to Galway he married, and followed the business of a goldsmith with considerable success", James Hardiman, The History of the Town and County of the Town of Galway

    Historical details

    The Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849) caused many to emigrate from Ireland, and the Claddagh ring spread along with the emigrants to the United States and elsewhere. These rings are often considered heirlooms, and passed on from mother to daughter as well as between friends and lovers.

    The Claddagh Ring is a variant of older rings call "Fede" rings which date to Roman times. An "fenian" Claddagh without the crown was later designed in Dublin for the Republican community, but that is not an indication that the crown in the original design was intended as a symbol of fidelity to the British crown. The fenian Claddagh, while still being made, has not approached the popularity of the ancient design.

    Popular culture

    The Claddagh design has been used as a logo by the Scottish rock band Simple Minds, especially on the cover of their live album In the City of Light (1987).

    The Claddagh ring has also appeared in the 2004 film "Ladder 49" where the lead character shows his commitment to a romantic relationship.

    The Claddagh ring also appeared in the 1991 film "Dead Again".

    In the season two episode " Surprise" of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel gives the ring to Buffy for her 17th birthday.

    In the movie "The Brothers McMullen" Barry gives Audrey a Claddagh ring. At the end of the movie the ring, which she had given back to him, is the impetus that convinces him he loves her and to stop her from leaving.

    Throughout the movie Clerks II, Brian O'Halloran's character Dante Hicks wears a Claddagh ring. Although he is engaged, he wears it in a manner denoting the wearer is in a non-serious relationship, foreshadowing the demise of his relationship in the movie.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Chum anyone can wear the Cladagh Rings. I'm Irish. Nice little history about these rings. The Legend of the Claddagh Ring is the story of the mystical and beautiful Claddagh Ring. First told over 300 years ago in the ancient fishing village of the Claddagh, outside the walls of the City of Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Legend has it that shortly before he was due to be married, a fisherman Richard Joyce was captured at sea by pirates and sold into slavery in Algeria.

    He became the property of a rich Moorish goldsmith, who sensing his potential began to train him in his craft. In time Richard Joyce became a fully proficient master craftsman and with thoughts of the girl he had left behind close to his heart, he fashioned the first Claddagh Ring. The heart symbolising love, the pair of hands representing friendship and the crown for loyalty and fidelity. In 1698 after an agreement with King George III to release all his subjects held in slavery, Richard Joyce found himself once more a free man.

    His master, who had by now grown very fond of him offered his only daughter in marriage and half his wealth, if he would remain in Algiers, but Joyce declined and returned home to Galway.

    There he found that his sweetheart had waited for his return, and presenting her with the Claddagh Ring they were married. The the legend of the ring. Enjoy wearing it.

  • 4 years ago

    Irish Relationship Ring

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know where you got lips from? It's hands holding a heart and a crown on top of the heart. I'm not Irish and I have a claddah ring. My ex and I use to wear one, so much for love, loyalty and friendship lol. I still like the ring though and the story behind it. Even if you don't have a love you can still wear the ring.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    You can wear it but be prepared for some people to start assuming that you are Irish/of Irish decent

  • 1 decade ago

    hey i dont have lips on mine .i have a crown a heart and a hand on each side.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.