Many cultures and countries have different traditions when it comes to marriage, but one in particular is recognizable as uniquely Irish, who often wear the Claddagh ring as a symbol of love and friendship. This ring consists of two hands which represent the friendship two people share, a beautiful heart in the middle of the two hands that stands for the love they feel for one another, and the heart is topped by a crown that shows the loyalty the two feel towards each other.
These rings can be worn several different ways, and each one has its own special meaning.
Traditionally, women who wear the Claddagh ring before they get married should wear it on the ring finger of their right hand. This means that they have not married yet, but have an intention of doing so in the future. If the ring is worn with the heart facing outwards, this indicates that the wearer is single. If it is worn with the heart facing inward and towards the wearer, this usually means they are currently dating someone special.
After Official Engagement
If a woman is engaged to be married, her Claddagh ring should now be worn on her left hand's ring finger. Just like in other cultures, the Irish believe this symbolizes that you are now taken and preparing for marriage.
Wearing the heart of the ring facing outwards shows others that you are prepared to be married and are engaged, but have not gotten married yet. Once you get married, the heart will face inward. This indicates you've officially tied the knot.
The Claddagh ring can be worn as a promise ring, an engagement ring, and as a wedding ring. It can me made of silver, gold, platinum, or other precious metals. Many people opt to have the heart on the ring made of a stone such as a diamond for a very beautiful and customized choice. Other options include having the crown filled with tiny diamonds.
These rings have long been a well-known Irish tradition that spans back for thousands of years, but the traditional style most know today was said to have been created around 1700. Today, jewelers can create custom Claddagh rings in a variety of different styles.
There are other variations of Irish wedding and engagement rings including the Celtic knot, which represents the correlation between the earth, mind, body and spirit. Contact a company like Goldmark Jewelers if you have other specifications or are looking for something as unique and meaningful for yourself.