When the Greeks and Romans confronted Celtic tribespeople, they appeared to be fearless and powerful foes. They typically had light skin and red or golden hair. Celtic women were imposing in stature.
They wore bright, embroidered garments and complex hairstyles. Many Celts wore woven cloaks, and gold and silver neck ornaments, arm adornments, and rings were popular. Another prominent aspect of Celtic clothing was brooches that held collars together.
The Origins of Celtic Rings
Celtic rings are often known as Claddagh rings or Celtic wedding bands. The history of the Claddagh ring, like many other things passed down through generations, takes numerous forms.
According to one of the most well-known Celtic ring myths, a young widow named Margaret Joyce acquired a large quantity of money from her Spanish merchant husband upon his death. She eventually married the mayor of Galway, Ireland, and used her fortune to build many bridges around Connacht. The first Celtic ring was claimed to have fallen into her lap as a gift for her charity from a flying eagle.
Celtic rings were first seen about 300 years ago in the Irish fishing community of Claddagh, which is named for an Irish term that means “flat stony shore.” The first rings were made of gold and depicted two hands holding a heart between them.
A crown is placed above the heart, and the phrase, “let love and friendship reign” is frequently carved into the band. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents fidelity. Claddagh rings are also known as “clasped hands rings” and “hands and heart ring” in Ireland. Over the years, the most typical alteration to a Celtic ring has been the additional heart to produce a “two heart” Celtic ring.
The First Celtic Claddagh Ring
Richard Joyce’s narrative is another traditional origin story for Celtic rings. He was a native of Galway who was kidnapped the week before his wedding to an Irish girl and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith. Richard then spent years mastering the trade before creating the first Claddagh ring for the abandoned girl.
When William III ordered the freedom of all British people, he was set free. The goldsmith offered Joyce some of his fortune and the hand of his oldest daughter if he stayed with him. Richard declined, returning to Galway with the Claddagh ring he gave to his first love, who had never married. He remained in Galway for the remainder of his life, eventually becoming a goldsmith himself. The earliest Celtic rings are inscribed with the initials “RI,” which stand for Richard Joyce. This element adds realism to this rendition of the story.
Ireland is steeped in legend and the countryside invites visitors to seek out more historical stories. That’s why we voted it one of our favourite places to visit with your family.
Ways of Wearing Celtic Rings
Because diamond rings are so symbolic, they send a message to potential suitors. If the wearer is married or engaged, the ring is traditionally offered as an engagement ring and is worn on the left hand with the crown pointing away from the wearer’s heart.
If the wearer is open to love and a romantic connection, she should wear the ring on her right hand with the heart pointing away from her heart. If she is not looking for a relationship, she wears it on her right hand, with the crown pointed toward her heart.
Celtic rings are quite popular nowadays, and you can purchase them online. If you want to look at what Celtic rings are available on the market and want to find authentic ones, you can shop here.
Once you’ve got your beautiful Celtic ring you’ll need to think about how to care for it and protect it. Here’s our guide on how to protect your jewelry.