The Claddagh Story
The story of the Claddagh Ring begins in the fishing village of Claddagh in Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland in the early 16th century and continues to live on.
In the early 16th century an Irish fishing boat capsized off the coast of Ireland. The crew was rescued by pirates and promptly sold into slavery. Richard Joyce, one of the Irish crewmen, was to be married that same week, but alas he was forced to leave his beloved behind.
Richard was sold to a goldsmith who taught him the trade of goldsmithing. A quick study, Richard learned this trade very well and heartsick for his one true love, he crafted a very special ring for her fashioned of three symbols - hands signifying friendship, a crown signifying loyalty, and a heart signifying love.
Years passed and Richard escaped captivity and returned home to find, to his great joy, that the girl he loved had never married. Richard and his love married and settled in the village of Claddagh.
Since that time the Claddagh Ring has been worn as a sign of Love, Loyalty and Friendship.
Worn on the left hand with the heart facing towards one?s heart, it is a betrothal and wedding ring. And worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward it is a sign of friendship.
The true Irish Claddagh bears a mark of authenticity, which cannot be imitated. A genuine Irish Claddagh is one that is handcrafted in Ireland, assayed in Dublin Castle and hallmarked by the Irish Assay master.