The Irish Celtic Claddagh wedding and engagement rings are some of the most beautiful and symbolic wedding bands to be found anywhere. The elegant, yet affordable simplicity is striking in beauty and rich in tradition. It is no wonder that both men and women find them an inexpensive, yet not cheap ring that expresses their love.
How to pronounce Claddagh
Many people ask how to pronounce this Gaelic word, Claddagh. Because it is Gaelic, the sound may vary from region to region, but most English speakers seem to find that CLAD-ah works just fine. The GH sound is actually a guttural sound, not found in English, but there is no need to overemphasise this.
The legend of the rings
The legends surrounding this jewelry is fascinating and somewhat enchanting, just as you might expect from Ireland. It seems that the rings were made over 300 years ago in a fishing village on Galway Bay, named Claddagh.
Apparently, a young, love smitten Irishman named Richard Joyce, was en route to work in the West Indies. He was kidnapped by Mediterranean pirates, dashing his hopes to return to his love. The Pirates then sold him to a Moorish goldsmith who apprenticed Richard until he became a master goldsmith himself.
King William III won the right for the slaves to return in 1689, and the Goldsmith tried in vain for Richard to marry his daughter and remain in his care. But Joyce chose to return and marry the love of his life. He then gave his beloved a beautiful Claddagh ring to express his love and devotion for her. Ever since the ring has come to represent such loyalty and devotion.
How to wear a Claddagh ring
When worn on the right hand, with the heart pointed out, away from the body, this signifies that the wearer is single and open to romance. If worn on the right hand with the heart pointed inward, toward the body, this means that the person is in a relationship and not available.
If the ring is worn on the left hand, with the heart pointed inward, toward the body, this means the wearer is married and unavailable. The same traditions apply to bracelets and bangles.
How to buy a Celtic wedding or engagement band
There are many excellent jewelers all over the world, making wonderful bands for men and women. There are custom rings and an almost unlimited variety of standard type engagement and wedding bands available. However, if you are really interested in a Claddagh ring, you should get it from Ireland.
Unless you have the opportunity to visit the Emerald Isle personally, you can always order one online. Numerous reputable companies offer hand-made silver and gold rings at a very affordable price. There are sterling silver, diamond and many others for sale, at reasonable prices and of good quality.
The sterling silver, gold and diamonds can all be certified, ensuring your money is well spent. The white and yellow trim, with lovely diamond patterns, graced with the beauty of the Celtic knot is a wonderful expression of enduring love and commitment.
How to measure you ring size
This is a very common question, and fortunately, easy to answer. The best method to determine your ring size is to get your finger sized by your local jeweler. Despite the fact that there are almost as many size designations as there are countries, these sizes can be converted to ensure that your ring fits perfectly.