Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Claddagh Legend

August 8, 2012


Greetings! Today let's talk about an old tradition in Ireland: The Claddagh Ring

 Claddagh Ring:  It has many stories about the true story that surrounds this ring but we know for sure that it stands for or summed up as Let Love and Friendship Rule Forever!

There is a story that it was a woman that used an inheritance to to do good for the village she lived and was rewarded from a bird flying overhead and dropping the ring in her lap!

I have also read and heard another story that had a woman's husband as the person of importance that once lived in this little town and was captured by natives. Upon his release he was given this ring to marry their daughter but he took the ring and returned to his home town!

The last tale that I was told about was a maiden hopelessly
in love but all she had were her dreams and in her sleep one
night she dreamt of a prince that brought her this ring and
proposed marriage.  A fine friendship and love forever.

The chance to spend quality time with the man of my dreams in a location that was surrounded by water, the very kind of place that gave me peace growing up!  And I had secretly dreamed of repeating our wedding vows at the waters edge and having a new wedding band blessed (Claddagh band) for the years to be shared for the next quarter century!

There are many locations all over Ireland where you can buy this ring but if you want one from the original designers of this Claddagh ring, then in Galway, you will find a store by the name of  "THOMAS DILLON JEWELERS."

"It has been described as "the smallest museum in Europe with the biggest gift shop".

It proudly houses some of the very first Claddagh rings made by Goldsmiths Nicholas Burge, Richard Joyce and George Robinson these are from 1700-1800. It also displays the "worlds smallest claddagh ring" which is on the top of a tailor's pin. Other exhibits include examples of rings at various stages of production, from wax blanks to the finished product and a selection of tools used and a selection of tools used during the process."

The Claddagh's feature two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown in the distinguishing design.

The symbols are said to be as follows:
Heart- represents LOVE;
Crown stands for LOYALTY and
Hands represent FRIENDSHIP
These rings are worn in three different ways with the meaning depending on the wearer and in cases of a gift, the giver.  It may be worn to represent engagement, wedding, eternity, or friendship.

If you should observe someone wearing this ring, you may tell the traditional status of that person by the way the ring is being worn.

1.  If worn on the right ring finger, the heart pointing to the fingertip, then that person  is free of  commitment.

2.  With the ring turned around, and worn on the same finger, it usually signifies the wearer is romantically involved.

3. When the ring is worn on the left hand, on the wedding finger it means the person is engaged or married.

Here again is another example of the Claddagh ring only in a wedding band.  This style is popular for a wedding both formal or casual.  We decided to buy this one for our special day that we choose to repeat our vows to each other after twenty three years (twenty five from when we met) rather than to wait for our Silver Anniversary.  We were on a trip of a lifetime and wanted to make the most of it celebrating for three weeks instead of only one day!  After all, we had been celebrating this long (we had been on vacation for two weeks at this time celebrating along the way so many things) so when re-affirming our love, why not do so in a way that allows each day to be another special memory?

We hope to return on our 25th wedding anniversary repeating our vows in the same place we visited last year-Loch Lein Country Manor in Fossa outside of Limerick.

Thanks for Visiting My Blog and I will look for you to come again!

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Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler


  1. I love the story of the rings, how to tell the relationship the wearer is in, and how beautifully you and Doug renewed your vows. That was the best part! Thank you for the info, I had often wondered! Love your blogs, Mamie!

    1. Deirdre, thank you for so much support. It makes my heart smile knowing my post bring a joy for you. Someday hopefully in 2013 we will all return to Ireland for another journey of a lifetime together.


  2. How beautiful--the rings, the legend, and your renewal of your vows!
    One of your best posts yet!

    1. Thanks Sandy. Again you are here to support me and I do appreciate it. There is so much to Ireland that goes unknown as it is probably everywhere but there we found so much love and beautiful souls.

      As I told Deirdre, keep those bags packed!


  3. I love this story and I want that ring!!!!! Beautiful as always, Rosemary!!

  4. What a romantic story, Rosemary, and what a great decision you two made to go ahead and buy this ring and begin the celebration when you did!

  5. Rosemary, Great blog post!! Nice awards too :). This part about the rings was one of my favorite parts of your book. I'd love to own a ring like that one day. My youngest daughter has one.

    Great pictures too- your blog is almost like traveling to Ireland!!

    Love, Micki