Promise rings signify commitment and love. They are for couples that aren’t ready to marry but still want to show they are in a serious relationship and are dedicated to each other. That’s one of the reasons why people chose promise rings carefully and only purchase something that has meaning. The Claddagh rings are an ideal fit because they have a rich and interesting history behind them.
The Claddagh rings originated from Ireland and were first manufactured in the town of Claddagh near Galway. It was first manufactured in the 17th century when Mary II ruled and was made by a smith named Richard Joyce. As the story goes, the young Irish man was set to sail to a West Indian slave plantation but was kidnapped by pirates while he was at sea. He was sold as a slave for a hefty sum to a Moorish goldsmith who trained him to become an excellent smith himself.
Joyce spent several years away from his home country and didn’t have the freedom to return until King William III managed to negotiate the release and return of all Irish slaves in 1689. Joyce had much incentive to stay because the goldsmith didn’t want to lose a skilled craftsman. The smith offered Joyce his daughter’s hand in marriage and a large dowry.
Joyce refused the offer and still returned to his homeland to a woman he had loved and promised himself to. She had remained faithful to him throughout his exile and never married someone else despite the uncertainty around his return. He presented her with the first ever Royal Claddagh Gold Ring and ever since, men have presented this ring to women they love and cherish above all others.
The ring design and shape might change slightly, but the general theme remains the same. It has two hands holding a heart in the middle with a crown placed on the top of the heart. The two hands represent friendship, the crown represents loyalty, and the heart represents love and belonging. This is a very powerful message of commitment and love and has endured the test of time to be popular even after three centuries of existence.
How to Wear It?
You can wear the Claddagh ring as long you desire, but there is a special meaning in how you wear it. According to tradition, it must be worn on the right hand with the crown and heart facing outwards if you want to claim that your heart is yet to be won.
However, if you’re in a committed relationship, you should turn the ring inward so that the heart and crown faces towards you. If you wear this ring on your left hand with the heart facing you, you show that your love has been requited and you are in a committed relationship.
Back when it was first created, the Claddagh rings were passed down from mother to daughter. Today, it is used as a promise ring or even an engagement ring.