Claddagh rings – the perfect home for a heart shaped diamond?
The claddagh ring is a traditional (17th Century) Irish ring with a heart held in 2 hands with a crown on top. It represents love (heart), loyalty (crown), and friendship (hands). It is still, centuries later, a popular choice for engagement or wedding rings, though sometimes worn just as a symbol of Irish heritage or friendship. It is seen with or without a crown and often handed down through generations. Although there is little native Irish literature on the traditions of the ring, modern Irish author Colin Murphy states that depending on the finger and orientation of the ring, the relationship status of the wearer can be determined.
- Right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
- Right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship (their heart has been “captured”).
- Left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
- Left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.
The Claddagh ring belongs to a group of European finger rings called “fede rings from the Italian phrase mani in fede (“hands [joined] in faith” or loyalty). These rings date from ancient Roman times and they were used as engagement/wedding rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe. The gesture of clasped hands was, and still is, a symbol of pledging vows (“let’s shake on it”). Scott Kay uses this motif in some of his jewellery that is carried in the store.
The Claddagh ring variation came later, said to originate in the village of Claddagh, in Galway, Ireland, with the addition of the hands, heart, and crown motif. The style did not take on the name of the village until the 1840s.
At Secret Sapphire Luxury jewellery we can make rings to your personal style. We also carry and deal with diamonds of fancy cuts and suggest that a traditional claddagh ring would look spectacular with a heart shaped diamond in the centre!Visit the store and tell us what your ideas are so that we can make them a reality for you. We are located at 493 Davie Street, Yaletown. 604-558-3638. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30-5.30. We look forward to seeing you.
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