Gold Claddagh Rings

Written by Jill Morrison
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Gold Claddagh rings are worn to express feelings of love, friendship, and loyalty. The design of the Claddagh ring has been used for centuries and represents an old Irish legend. The first Claddagh ring was made from gold, but Claddagh rings can now be made from other materials as well, such as silver and diamonds.

The Purpose of Gold Claddagh Rings

Gold Claddagh rings continue to be made because of the story behind their development. The story is about a man named Richard Joyce who lived happily in the town of Claddagh, Ireland. Joyce was captured, taken away from his home, and sold into slavery. He learned to work with precious metals as a slave because his master was a goldsmith. After many years, Joyce was lucky enough to receive a pardon and returned to his loved ones in Claddagh.

When Richard Joyce returned to Claddagh, he decided to fashion a ring to represent his strong feelings of gratitude. The ring had specific symbols, such as a crown, cuffs, hands, and a heart. The cuffs represented how his slavery story was taken to the queen of Spain and the crown represented King William of England who allowed for his pardon. The hands were reaching toward the heart which shows that even though he was far away, his heart was still with his home town of Claddagh.

The story of Richard Joyce is an Irish legend and continues to be told today. Because Richard Joyce gave his ring to his wife in marriage, gold Claddagh rings are now commonly used as wedding bands. Claddagh rings can be worn as a wedding band on the left hand with the heart facing inward. If you are yet to be married, you can wear a Claddagh ring on your right hand with the heart facing outward.


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