Claddagh Rings: Old Tradition, New Trend

All about the Irish traditional ring.

The Claddagh ring, which features a distinctive design of two hands clasping a heart and mounted by a crown, is a traditional token of love and affection that originates in Celtic-Irish culture. It’s named after the Irish fishing village in which it originated in the 17th century.

Each element of the Claddagh symbolizes different parts of a good relationship: the heart represents love, the hands represent friendship, and the crown represents loyalty. Depending on how the wearer positions the Claddagh ring, it communicates a different relationship status. On the right ring finger with the heart pointing inward, it means the wearer is single. On the right ring finger with the heart pointing outward, it means the wearer is seeing someone. And on the left ring finger, it means the wearer is married or engaged.

Jennifer Aniston wearing a Claddagh ring

While the Claddagh ring dates back to the 17th century, it was not common until the mid- to late-19th century, when jewelers in Galway (near Claddagh) presented Queen Victoria with a ring of her own. As Irish communities spread to North America, Australia, and other parts of the world, so did the charming tradition of the Claddagh ring. Its popularity rose throughout the 20th century, and  took off after it was featured in the 1991 film “The Doors” and in an episode of 1990s cult TV hit “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Since then, many modern celebrities have been spotted with Claddagh rings, including Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, and Julia Roberts.

Claddagh rings are also featured in many Celtic-inspired wedding ceremonies, and are a popular way for people of Irish heritage to feel connected to their roots.

Do you wear a Claddagh ring? If so, tell us all about it!

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