How To Wear A Claddagh Ring – A Complete Guide

Because wearing the Claddagh ring the right way can make all the difference.

Reviewed by Ashlee Jaine, Certified Personal Stylist Ashlee Jaine Ashlee JaineCertified Personal Stylist youtube_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Sushmita Barman MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA (English) Gazala Firdos Ansari Integrated MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years

The Claddagh ring originated in Ireland and is a symbol of love, friendship, and loyalty. But, how to wear a Claddagh ring in the 21st century and make it look trendy and high fashion?

The Claddagh ring’s two hands symbolize friendship. And these two hands hold a heart, representing love. The crown on top of the heart represents loyalty. This ring with clasped hands dates back to the Roman era and was considered a symbol of pledging vows to one another. That is why, in Renaissance Europe, they were used as engagement or wedding rings.

The Claddagh ring gained global exposure in the 20th century. And, with time, it has become a fashion statement of many forward-thinking individuals who want to embrace history and make it a major fashion statement. Read on to learn more about this mystical and powerful ring and how to wear it to look stylish in the 21st century. Scroll down!

What Is A Claddagh Ring?

This ring is worn in different ways and with different meanings. It is worn as a symbol of Irish heritage or as a commitment to the three essential aspects that the ring represents- friendship, love, and loyalty. The ring originated in Galway County in a small town named Claddagh, which explains the unique name of the ring. It comes in a circular shape in a band in gold or silver, with gestures of two clasped hands holding a crowned heart. The ring may even be given to a person as a friendship band as well.

The Claddagh rings hail from a group of European finger rings known as the “fede rings”. The word “fede” has been derived from the Latin phrase “mani in fede,” which means the hands of two people joined in faith or loyalty.

protip_icon Trivia
The word ‘Claddagh’ comes from the Irish term ‘Cladach’ meaning ‘the stony beach’. The oldest piece of this ring dates back to the 1700s.

Ashlee Jaine, a certified personal stylist, says, “The Claddagh ring can be worn as a sentimental accessory reflecting one’s ancestry, loved one, or affinity for the rich Irish culture. The multiple meanings behind the ring give it versatility and a meaningful piece of jewelry that you can incorporate with your outfits and wardrobe.”

The gorgeous Claddagh ring that can be worn as an engagement ring is carved with different designs; however, the meaning remains unchanged. The ring has become famous beyond Ireland and has emerged to be better known as one of the Celtic designs.

Jasmine Dyer, a YouTuber, shares about the special moment of exchanging Claddagh rings with her boyfriend for their 10-month anniversary. She provides insights into the various ways the Claddagh ring can be worn to signify one’s relationship status, making it a versatile and meaningful piece of jewelry. She mentions, “I really like what this ring represents and the symbolism on the ring. It’s not just about how much it costs; it’s about the love and the meaning behind it (i).”

How To Wear A Claddagh Ring

So, let’s understand what is the right way to wear a Claddagh ring. It can either be a gold Claddagh ring or a silver one. We will tell you how to wear a Claddagh ring the right way. Long before social media was a fad and a medium to show your love to your partner by posting sweet posts about them, this beautiful ring was seen as a public expression of commitment.
There are a few ways to wear this ring, but if you want to wear it the right way and pay respect to its Irish heritage, you must follow the Claddagh ring rules-

  • If the ring is worn in the right hand, with the heart’s edge pointing towards the wearer’s hand, it means that the person wearing it is in a relationship.
  • If the ring is worn in the right hand, with the heart’s edge pointing outwards and away from the wearer’s body, it means that the person wearing it is not in a relationship, and their heart is ready to fall in love.
  • If the ring is worn on the left hand, or ring finger, with the heart’s edge pointing outward, the wearer is engaged.
  • If the ring is worn on the left hand, or ring finger, and the heart’s edge is pointing towards the wearer’s body, it means that the wearer is married.
protip_icon Fun Fact
Celebrities like John F. Kennedy, Jennifer Aniston, Dermot O’Leary, and Julia Roberts were spotted wearing the Claddagh rings.

What Is The History Behind The Claddagh Ring?

Want to know about the Claddagh ring’s origin? Well, there are several stories that surround the origin of the ring. The one that is based on the lost romantic Irish folklore is that of the Joyce family. Richard Joyce was a goldsmith in Galway and was captured by the Algerians. He was sold as a slave further to a Moorish goldsmith in the village of Claddagh. The goldsmith needed an apprentice, and he had noticed Joyce’s natural talents as a craftsman, and that is when he decided to teach Joyce the tricks of the trade of the craft of silversmith. During his years as a slave, Joyce longed for his true love, whom he left back at his native place. In the year 1689, the ruler at the time, William III, demanded the release of all the British subjects from Algeria. Joyce’s captor tried to keep him by offering him half of his wealth and his only daughter’s hand in marriage to Joyce, but Joyce refused and returned to Ireland only to find that his love had waited for him.

Once he returned to Galway, Joyce established himself as a goldsmith and created the unique design, now known as the Claddagh Ring. Joyce had made the ring from bits of stolen gold from the Moorish goldsmith for his partner to represent their friendship, love, and loyalty. In some of the early surviving Claddagh rings, you would still find Richard Joyce’s initials, also known as the maker’s mark of a silversmith.

Can You Wear A Claddagh Ring If You Are Single?

Wondering how to wear a Claddagh ring if you’re single? As already mentioned, this ring represents Irish heritage, and most people from Ireland wear it to publicize their relationship status. These beautiful rings are worn throughout the world, making small changes or adding to the old Traditions. On that note, a Claddagh ring can be worn and is worn by single people as well. A Claddagh ring is given by a mother to their daughters as a form of their blessing to pass it down to future generations.

We have established that you can wear a Claddagh ring if you are single, but how do you wear it? We have to revisit the rules of wearing a Claddagh ring for that purpose. If you are single, you must wear the ring on your right hand with the heart’s edge facing outward. This will denote that you are not in a relationship and your heart is ready for love. Further, if you are lucky and find the right one, you need to invert the ring so that the heart’s edge is facing your body to show that you are in a relationship. When the heart is facing outside, it is more open to the opportunity of seeing the world and searching for the right person. But when the heart is facing inward, it means that your heart is reserved and committed to one person.

What Are The Different Types Of Claddagh Rings?

As the Claddagh ring became more famous as the universal symbol of love, the makers of the ring came up with a wide variety of designs like-

  • Celtic knotted Claddagh ring

This is one of the most popular designs of the ring. There are Celtic knots around the band instead of the clasped hands that hold the heart. The knots represent friendship, love, commitment, loyalty, and often the holy trinity as well. This design is mostly presented as an engagement ring.

  • Claddagh ring set as wedding rings

In this style, the crown is detached and worn as a separate ring, and the clasped hands that hold the heart, as the other set. It’s a creative take on wearing the ring.

  • Big Claddagh rings

Whilst keeping the design authentic, a big or chunky Claddagh ring helps make a statement.

  • Minimalist Claddagh ring with a rustic touch

If you want to wear a Claddagh ring with a touch of the antique, this is what you should get. It is sure to please the simpleton in you.

  • Claddagh ring made of wood

It might get challenging to find a beautiful and authentic Claddagh ring, and if you do find one, it may not be durable. Now, if you get a wooden ring, you won’t have to worry about its durability. It is also inexpensive, which adds to its appeal even more!

  • Claddagh ring with a skeletal design

This design would not be for everybody, but it could be eye-catching and intriguing for most people, and meaningful for people who like to do things in their own way. In this design, the hands are a skeleton, and the heart is an actual human heart. The interpretation of the ring can go as, only death can keep you and your partner apart, or it could be seen as your love living and growing beyond the physical concept of infinity.

The Claddagh ring is very significant for Irish culture. It is embellished with different symbols, such as a crown, heart, and hands, that have deep meaning. Watch the next video to understand what they represent.

We have discussed how to wear a Claddagh ring, but it is up to you to interpret the significance of this one-of-a-kind ring based on your relationship with your partner and make it your own. You can wear it to demonstrate your admiration for Irish culture or communicate your affection to the rest of the globe. A Claddagh ring is also presented to daughters by their mothers to bless them and carry it down to future generations. In any case, whoever wears the lovely Claddagh ring will always have a special meaning for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a non-Irish person wear a Claddagh ring?

Yes. Anyone can wear a Claddagh ring as it is a romantic gift for people of all nationalities. In addition, Claddagh’s ring represents friendship, love, and loyalty.

Who can give you a Claddagh ring?

Claddagh ring is not just reserved for couples or those in a romantic relationship. It can also be gifted among family members and friends as a symbol of love.

Key Takeaways

  • The Claddagh ring dates back to Galway, Ireland, and is a symbol of love and friendship.
  • It comes in the shape of a band with two hands clasping a crowned heart together.
  • Claddagh ring is not only an expression of love and commitment but also a symbol of culture and heritage.
  • Depending on the reason for wearing a Claddagh ring, you can opt for Celtic knotted Claddagh rings or Claddagh rings made of wood.

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Ashlee Jaine

Ashlee JaineCertified Personal Stylist

Ashlee Jaine is a certified personal stylist with five years of experience. She discovered the profound link between style and self-presentation when she wore an outfit that perfectly fit her, enhancing her appearance and confidence.

Read full bio of Ashlee Jaine