The Claddagh Ring is a traditional Irish ring, worn for many reasons. They’re often given as a token of love or friendship, but are also frequently worn simply as a show of Irish pride. Claddagh rings are also used for wedding and engagement rings, especially among those with Irish heritage. Depending on your relationship status, tradition states that how you wear your Claddagh should change. This leads to confusion about how to wear a Claddagh ring, especially when switching from one relationship status to another.
Remembering how to wear a Claddagh ring is easy, once you understand its symbols. The symbols shown on the ring are a heart, pair of hands, and a crown. According to popular belief, the heart symbolizes love, the hands symbolize friendship, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. The most important point in figuring out how to wear your Claddagh is looking at the heart. When the heart’s turned outward, that signifies that you’re interested in and available for a relationship. With the heart turned toward you, it shows that your heart has already been captured.
If you wear a Claddagh on your right hand, this usually indicates that you’re unmarried. Again, with the heart turned away from your body, this shows that you’re free to give your heart away. This is the most common way to wear a Claddagh as a friendship ring or token of Irish heritage, particularly on fingers other than the ring finger. With the heart turned towards you, the Claddagh ring signifies that you’re in a relationship or uninterested in pursuing one with anyone new.
When the Claddagh’s worn on the left ring finger, this is a sign of marriage. Any ring worn on the left ring finger shows that you’re spoken for, so in this case how you point the Claddagh ring doesn’t have different meanings. In Irish wedding ceremonies, the Claddagh ring is typically worn with the heart turned in towards the wearer, as a symbol of everlasting love. If your Claddagh ring is intended as an engagement ring, it’s usually worn on the right hand, heart turned in, and then switched to the left hand during the wedding ceremony.
For couples on a budget, the Claddagh ring can act as both engagement and wedding band for the bride. When either bride or groom intends to wear a Claddagh ring as their wedding band, it’s most common for both parties to wear Claddagh rings instead of having mismatched wedding bands – even if neither is Irish. Wearing a Claddagh as your wedding ring makes a strong statement to the depth of your bond – a promise to love, be loyal, and be best friends with your spouse. Though most Claddaghs are constructed simply out of silver or gold, many variations also exist with filigree bands or heart-shaped gemstones such as rubies and emeralds.
The Claddagh ring is a sweet reminder of simpler times, and a little piece of Irish heritage. Now that you know how to wear a Claddagh ring, wear yours with pride. Erin go bragh!
“How to Wear the Claddagh Ring.” Claddagh Jewellers.
“How to Wear a Claddagh Ring.” Celtic By Design.
“Claddagh ring.” Wikipedia.