The Irish Claddagh ring was originally designed in the fishing village of Claddagh, Ireland, in the 17th century. Previous to it’s creation, rings showing hands joined were Roman symbols of faith and loyalty. Legend has it that a sailor from Claddagh returned home after a long absence to find his sweetheart waited for him. He designed the Claddagh ring for her. The hands represent friendship, the heart, love and the crown loyalty.
Claddagh rings continue to be symbols of love and loyalty, and also as a sign of pride in Irish heritage. They are often used for friendship, engagement or wedding rings, and as family heirlooms passed down from mother to daughter. Wearing the ring’s heart pointing toward the arm symbolizes being romantically involved.
Christian symbolism attributed to the ring assigns crowning love (heart and crown) and faith (hands) to representing the glory of Jesus Christ.