The Claddagh ring design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland and enduring love. It is hugely popular as a fashion accessory and a symbolic gesture. While everyone seems to know the rules of the Claddagh ring that lead up to it being worn as a wedding ring, few people know its history.
The Claddagh ring is, in fact, just one of the more popular iterations of a design used for pledges, vows, and wedding rings that goes all the way back to the ancient Romans.
Specific Symbolism of a Claddagh Wedding Ring
A Claddagh wedding ring represents friendship (the two hands), love (the heart), and loyalty (the crown). The earliest appearance of this design dates back to the early 1700s in an Irish fishing village called Claddagh (thus the name). Since that time, the village has been incorporated into the city of Galway.