The Claddagh has a rich history dating back over 300 years to a small fishing village in Galway, Ireland, for which is also it's namesake, Claddagh. There are two Galway legends that are believed to be the origin of the ring. What legend do you believe?
Legend of The Claddagh: Richard Joyce's Love
One legend says that, Galway native, Richard Joyce had been captured by East Indie pirates who sold him into slavery at a plantation in Algeria. It was there that Richard learned the art of metal smithing. After escaping or being released he returned home to his true love. It is said that before he left the plantation he took some of the precious metal dust from which he would craft his true love the first Claddagh ring to show her his love, friendship, and fidelity throughout his absence.
Legend of The Claddagh: Margaret Joyce's Generosity
Another legend says that Margaret Joyce, the widow of a wealthy Spanish merchant and another Galway native took her inheritance to rebuild bridges in Connacht. As a thank you, legend says an eagle dropped a Claddagh in her lap as a sign of appreciation.
Regardless of it's origin, one thing is for sure, this beloved design has captured the hearts of men and women across the world and throughout time! Learn more about the design and learn how to properly wear a Claddagh ring below:
Legend of The Claddagh: Claddagh Jewelry
While a classic Claddagh ring comes to mind first, there are a variety of designs available. In our David Connolly Collection, Claddagh designs include simple gold studs, diamond wedding bands, delicate Celtic braded pendants, triquetra rings, and even classic Claddagh ring set with either an emerald or diamond. Here are some of the unique pieces of Claddagh jewelry we offer: