By Matt Henderson
A silver claddagh ring is a classic symbol of loyalty, love and friendship in Ireland and has become recognizable around the world. Many couples exchange claddagh rings at their wedding as a way to celebrate their love and honor their Irish heritage. Lifelong friends may also exchange claddagh rings as a token of their loyalty to one another. Claddagh rings may also be passed down as a family heirloom from a mother to her daughter.
How to Wear a Silver Claddagh Ring
Claddagh rings can be worn in several ways and the way each person wears their rings gives others a clue about their relationship status. People who wear a claddagh ring with the heart pointed away from them on their right hand usually have an open heart and are looking for love. Turning the ring so that the heart is facing toward the hand on the right hand means that the person wearing it is in love. People who are engaged wear their silver claddagh ring on their left hand with the heart pointing away from their hand. A married person wears their claddagh ring on their left hand with the heart pointing toward their hand.
Where to Buy a Claddagh Ring
It is best to buy a claddagh ring directly from the person who created it in Ireland, but that is not always possible. Most jewelry stores sell handmade claddagh rings, while others only sell rings that have been made by machines. Traditional claddagh rings are made of sterling silver. Some jewelers make white gold versions of this rings and other sell cheap metal versions. Almost every jewelry store sells claddagh rings, but there are no specific designers that are known for their claddagh rings. There are a few legends about the jeweler came up with the original design that has become the claddagh ring, but nobody knows for sure what his story was. You can find classic claddagh rings online at the National Geographic store. The silver claddagh rings they sell are handmade by a family in Dublin, Ireland.
Types of Claddagh Rings
Most claddagh rings are made of silver cast in the traditional design with a clasped hand on each side and a heart with a crown above it in the middle. They are available in sizes to fit every hand, from a tiny baby finger to a large man’s hand. A silver claddagh ring may have a heart-shaped diamond or birthstone gem set in the middle of the ring where the heart traditionally goes.
Some jewelry makers have taken the traditional claddagh style and changed it to a pattern that is engraved all the way around a circular band. These rings may be worn on either hand and usually symbolize friendship. You can find a variety of bands with claddagh engravings on them at claddaghringking.com. Other designers have engraved the words “friendship, loyalty and love” on the inside of the claddagh rings they create because those are the values that a silver claddagh ring is intended to represent.
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